German court halts felling of forest for coal mine

A German court has ordered a temporary halt to plans to fell part of a forest in the west of the country to allow the expansion of a coal mine.

The Muenster administrative court issued its order Friday after the BUND environmental group argued the Hambach Forest deserves protected status because of the bats that live there.

The court said the legal questions are so complex that it can’t rule on the issue in accelerated proceedings, so a halt is necessary to prevent irreversible changes being made.

Energy company RWE’s plans to cut down half the Hambach Forest to expand a lignite strip mine have made the ancient woodland a cause celebre for environmentalists. Protesters have been removed from the forest in recent weeks.

This article provided by NewsEdge.