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Human chain along German, Polish border to protest coal mine

Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 01:20

An estimated 7,000 people link hands to form a giant human chain from German across the border into Poland to protest plans for a ''brown'' coal mine. Mana Rabiee reports.

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A human chain along the German and Polish border to protest plans for a new coal mine. Some 7,000 people linked hands from the German village of Kerwitz...over the border to the Polish village of Grabice. Residents of both towns are angry because they could be forced to relocate if plans for the German-Polish energy venture go ahead. (SOUNDBITE) (German) PROTESTER, EDITH PENCK, SAYING: "We want our home to be kept. Not just for us, but also for the future generations." They're also protesting the KIND of coal that's going to be mined. It's "brown" coal -- which has a high moisture content that makes it more combustible and therefore difficult to store and transport. It also emits more carbon dioxide than other types of coal so opponents are campaigning hard against it. (SOUNDBITE) (German) PROTESTER, RAIMUND KAEMM, SAYING: "Climate change is becoming a real threat for our children and this is why we should no longer mine brown coal but instead look and see that we save and make renewable energies better." But brown coal accounts for about a quarter of all German power. Its advocates say the fuel gives Germany a reliable, domestic source of energy. That's a hard argument to win, especially in industrial parts of the country that want to reduce the need to import their energy.

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Human chain along German, Polish border to protest coal mine

Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 01:20