Short facts about the lignite mining in Rhineland (Germany)
In the Rhineland in Germany, the company RWE is running 3 lignite mines where they extract around 100 Mio. t of lignite each year. Furthermore they run 5 power plants where the coal is being burned in order to produce energy. This industry causes aroung 100 Mio. t CO² per year, sets free a lot of fine dust as well as heavy metals, radioactive elements and other pollutants.
To preserve the mines from flooding with water the ground water level of the region is being lowered to a depth of around 500m, which brings heavy consequences for the nature.
In addition many villages are being „relocated“ which means that the people there are forced to move and the land is being destroyed and contaminated.
For the biggest nowadays running mine there – the mine ‚Hambach‘ – the forest ‚Hambacher Forst‘ is being cut since 1978. The plan of the company is to completely clearcut the forest until 2018.