The New York TimesThe New York Times

German village at center of fight over coal and climate is cleared

By Christopher F. Schuetze

14 Jan 2023 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

The tiny village of Lützerath took on an outsized place in Germany’s debate over how to wean itself off coal. The NYT looks at how climate activists lost the fight as political winds shifted.

LÜTZERATH, Germany — The fight for Lützerath was long, but the end, when it finally came, was quick.

In a matter of days this past week, more than 1,000 police officers cleared out the hundreds of climate activists who had sworn to protect the small village, once home to 90 people but no church, which was scheduled to be razed as part of a sprawling open-pit coal mine in western Germany.

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