​Protestors form 8km human chain to protest brown coal

More than 7000 activists in Germany have formed a human chain eight kilometres long to protest against a proposed brown coal mine.

The protestors, from 27 different countries, formed a chain between the German Village of Kerkwitz and Polish village of Grabice, which they say are in danger if the new mine goes ahead, according to RT.com.

According to Responding to Climate Change, around 6000 people would have to move from their homes if the mine goes ahead in the Lusatia region.

The proposed brown coal mine, known as Gubin, is being developed by the Polish state coal company PGE (Polska Grupa Energetyczna).

Responding to the protests, PGE stated that “taking care of the natural environment is one of our priorities, which is exemplified by the stringent emission standards effective in the power plants belonging to the company.

“It needs to be stressed that PGE lays great emphasis on the cooperation with local communities already at the preparation stage of an investment project.

“Our transparent information policy is very effective. More than 44 per cent of the inhabitants of the Gubin area definitely support the idea of developing a power generation complex. A few non-governmental organisations are actively involved in this matter.

“An analysis of the results of a survey conducted by the Lubuski Social Research Centre indicates that the number of supporters is rising, while the group of opponents is shrinking. Since 2011 the group of inhabitants in favour of our "Gubin" investment plans has doubled in size.”

It went on to dismiss the claim 6000 residents will be affected, stating that only 2300 will be relocated.

However Greenpeace warned that the issue goes well beyond just those forced to be relocated, with the mining affecting Europe’s emissions targets.

“Burning lignite on the scale expected would use up half Germany and Poland’s carbon budgets between 2020 and 2050,” Greenpeace said.

The project is aimed at mining around 17 million US tons of lignite per year.

PGE is aiming to begin construction of the mine in 2018.

Image: Greenpeace/Christian Mang

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