Climate activists pledge to defend German village from being bulldozed for coal mine

Climate activists have vowed to defend a tiny village in western Germany from being bulldozed to make way for the expansion of a nearby coal mine.

Thousands gathered from across Germany for protest training and then a subsequent demonstration in the hamlet of Luetzerath west of Cologne.

Among them is Friday's For Future climate activist Luisa Neubauer.

"This behind us is the biggest source of CO2 in Europe," explained Luisa. "These are emissions that affect people all over the world. That means that we also stand here for people who depend on us to speak up when the government doesn't dare to do so."

The utility company RWE says it needs the coal to ensure Germany's energy security, following the cut in gas supplies from Russia since the invasion of Ukraine. The open-cast mine is scheduled to close by 2030.

But environmental groups argue that this would create vast amounts of greenhouse gas, which would make it impossible for Germany to meet its commitments under the 2015 Paris climate accord.