A deserted village in North Rhine-Westphalia is currently making the headlines: the planned lignite mining in Lützerath is being passionately discussed.

At the center of the debate is a compromise between the government and the energy supply group RWE: Five villages around Lützerath are to be retained, while opencast lignite mining can begin as early as March or April after the demolition of the settlement is imminent, as an RWE spokesman recently told the “Rheinische Post “ opened.

At the weekend there were large protests around the edge of the demolition in Lützerath. The situation escalated when the police cleared the area, and both sides accused each other of violence after clashes. Climate activist Greta Thunberg once again showed her face at the protests.

“We show what the power of the people looks like,” said the 20-year-old on Sunday evening in the “Anne Will” political talk about the “peaceful protest” to preserve Lützerath. “It’s strange that we sacrifice a village to save the others. That makes no sense.”

Thunberg also used the opportunity to once again criticize Germany’s role in global climate policy: “From a historical perspective, Germany is one of the biggest polluters in the world. What happens in Germany does not stay in Germany.”

The climate activist was also harsh on the political decisions of the Greens: In her eyes, the party acts “hypocritically”: “First take part in the demos for Lützerath and then sacrifice Lützerath.” Will’s objection to regarding the topic as a “successful compromise” rejected the 20-year-old decidedly.

Too much CO₂ would still be emitted – even though millions of tons of lignite will remain underground and North Rhine-Westphalia will phase out coal eight years earlier.

Thunberg simply cannot accept that RWE, a fossil energy company, is allowed to make deals with the government: “This endangers the lives of many people.”

When the talk show host responded to the statement by German climate protection minister Robert Habeck, in which he described Lützerath as a “wrong symbol”, Thunberg again denounced the government’s work. She does not doubt the politician’s intentions in view of the supply crisis triggered by the Ukraine war, but the federal government is on the wrong track, Thunberg complained: “We cannot continue as before. We have to go back a few steps.”

On Will’s reference to the “acute supply crisis”, Thunberg countered: “Are you saying that this coal mine is supplying energy immediately?” One simply has to start treating the climate crisis as a crisis.

Some of the local police officers were also in crisis mode. According to the police, it was appropriate to use water cannons, batons and pepper spray in view of around 1,000 masked “disturbers” who had tried to storm the site around the demo.

There are said to have been injuries in both camps. “There are many of us who wonder who the police are really protecting,” Thunberg said when asked if she condemned violence and radicalization.

“The activists of the climate movement are a very heterogeneous group of people. I can’t say anything to anyone, just encourage peaceful protest,” said the Swede.

According to a police spokesman, she herself sat briefly on a wall at the edge of the opencast mine. When she didn’t comply with the requests to leave the wall for her own safety, she was taken a few steps further away – a “harmonious” encounter, as Thunberg summed it up.

The original of this post “Greta Thunberg blasphemes about Germany in ARD: “Biggest polluter in the world”” comes from Teleschau.