The Garzweiler mine, in North Rhine-Westphalia in western Germany, is an opencast lignite mining site operated since 1983, mainly to supply thermal power stations in the region.
The site, which extends over 40 km2 and sinks to a depth of 300 m, engulfs the landscape. Two sections of motorway have been removed, ten localities have been evacuated, three including Lützerath are being evacuated, and six others are doomed to disappear.
Germany aims to phase out coal by 2030 but the country still generates a third of its electricity using this carbon-intensive mineral.
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