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Coal company LEAG avoids landmark ruling by European Court of Justice

Polluter LEAG finally pays for sulphate contamination in Frankfurt's drinking water

220404_rutschung_schlichow_0292_400x267-equal-2.jpgCottbus, 28.02.2023. The environmental network GRÜNE LIGA regrets that there will be no landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice on the Cottbus opencast lake for the time to come. LEAG and water supplier FWA have apparently agreed on a payment in millions, thus ending their legal dispute. Other proceedings concerning the Cottbus-Nord opencast mine, however, remain pending before the courts. The flooding of the lake continues to be interrupted repeatedly due to a lack of water.

"It was high time that the coal company, as the polluter of the sulphate pollution, at least pays for part of the consequential costs. Unfortunately, this avoids a fundamental clarification by the European Court of Justice as to what value drinking water extraction has over mining interests. In view of the foreseeable further consequential damage from its opencast mines, LEAG obviously wanted to avoid a court clarification." René Schuster of the GRÜNE LIGA comments on the reached agreement.

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LEAG cannot impose conditions for earlier coal phase-out

Commenting on today's visit of the Federal Minister of Economics to the coal company LEAG, the environmental network GRÜNE LIGA points out that an earlier coal phase-out is necessary and does not need the company's consent:

"LEAG's mining plans are absolutely incompatible with the 1.5 degree target. In view of the fact that the Nochten opencast mine has no permit whatsoever to operate after 2026, an earlier coal phase-out does not have to be bought off from LEAG with concessions. No more mining areas must be permitted whose consequential damage to the general public is incalculable," says René Schuster of the GRÜNE LIGA.

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#RestoreNature Campaign: for an ambitious Nature Restoration Law


The new Nature Restoration Law proposed by the European Commission in June 2022, aimed at restoring ecosystems for people, climate and planet, will be put to a vote in the ENVI Committee in May 2023. In June 2023, the European Parliament will hold its plenary vote (mid-June).


In this context, the GRÜNE LIGA supports EEB's #RestoreNature campaign, which is pushing for the adoption of an ambitious law.


This law is fundamental to establish a governance framework in order to restore ecosystems that are particularly at risk, in order to increase climate change adaptation, ensure food security and the well-being of humankind and all forms of life on our planet. 


Member States will have to develop National Restoration Plans, including both area-based restoration targets and indicator-based restoration targets. This should allow for the establishment of an integrated approach to restoration on the European level.


 (The Havel River in Germany)


The main overarching objectives are the following:

  • at least 20% of land- and sea-areas' restoration targets by 2030
  • by 2050: having measures in place for ALL ecosystems in need of restoration

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Online seminar of the WG Water in the Forum Environment and Development - "Biodiversity Targets in Danger?"

Biodiversity goals in danger? 

Positioning of the AG-Wasser on hydropower development and river restoration against the background of the biodiversity goals and the climate crisis 

on 08.12.2022 14:00 - 17:00 CET



According to the WWF's Living Planet Report, the global population of wild species has declined by 69% since 1970. At 83%, the loss of species in lakes, rivers and wetlands is even more dramatic. Environmental associations, anglers and other organisations have joined forces at the European level to form the Living Rivers Coalition in order to halt this trend and reverse it. With the Green Deal, the Water Framework Directive, the Biodiversity Strategy and the recently proposed Nature Restoration Law, good instruments have been and are being developed at EU level to achieve this goal. At the same time, the expansion of renewable energies is being pushed forward on a large scale. In the course of this, there are increased efforts to streamline the planning requirements for infrastructure projects, in particular also by directly undermining nature and water protection regulations. This, with the intention of counteracting the climate crisis, further exacerbates the European and global biodiversity crisis.

The sustainable use and equitable distribution of water is one of the most pressing problems of our time. At the same time, scarce freshwater resources and their associated ecosystems are being overexploited, polluted and damaged all over the world. Whether water will still be sufficiently available and drinkable in the future, and who will have access to it, depends more than ever on political decisions around water use. To discuss these challenges, we cordially invite you and your colleagues to an online seminar. Details on the programme and registration can be found below.


14:00: Welcome

Jürgen Maier, Forum Environment and Development

14:10: Presentation of the FUE position on hydropower

Thilo Papacek, CounterCurrents 

14:40: "Break Free" - Restoring river ecosystems by dismantling transverse structures 

Michael Bender, Living Rivers Foundation 

15:10: Commentary on the Renewable Energy Directive by WWF 

Tobias Schäfer, WWF

15:40: Hydropower in development cooperation 

Jutta Himmelsbach, Misereor

16:15 h: Break 

16:30: Hydropower to hydrogen? The Inga III Project

Salomé Elolo, Femmes Solidaires

Registration: roth (at)

The event will be held in German with English translation. 

You can find the invitation here: 

Vernissage in the "Mecca of Forest Research": Photo exhibition opens in Tharandt on a forest in Lusatia threatened by LEAG

A221118tharandt1_400x267-equal.jpg photo exhibition about an endangered forest in Upper Lusatia (Eastern Saxony) was opened with a vernissage in the Tharandt Kuppelhalle on Friday evening (18 November). LEAG, a company owned by the Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský, plans to expand the Nochten open-cast lignite mine and destroy the forest to do so. Together with the environmental network GRÜNE LIGA, photographer Markus Pichlmaier made the approach of the open-cast mine to forests and villages a visual experience. The exhibition "UNverkäuflich" was opened by Carolina Bräuer from the association "Kuppelhalle Tharandt e. V." and Rebekka Schwarzbach from the GRÜNE LIGA.

The photographs and collages, comprising 15 motifs, are on display in the cultural centre, which is known far beyond the region - a traditional former baths with a classicist entrance building - until 10 January 2023. (Pienner Str. 13, 01737 Tharandt).

Opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 8 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., Friday: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Saturday / Sunday: according to event schedule.

"It is a special honour for us to be able to present our exhibition in Tharandt, a place known for forest research," said Rebekka Schwarzbach. In the Tharandt Forest, models of sustainable forestry were developed for the first time in Germany at the beginning of the 19th century. The Forest Botanical Garden, founded in 1811, is considered one of the oldest in the world. Already as a student at the Sustainability University in Eberswalde (Brandenburg), she had heard about Tharandt again and again as the "Mecca of forest research", Schwarzbach reported.

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Ökomarkt am Kollwitzplatz
06 April 2023
12:00 - 19:00
Kollwitzplatz, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin
1st Dialogue at the Packereigraben
12 April 2023
10:00 - 13:00
Ökomarkt am Kollwitzplatz
13 April 2023
12:00 - 19:00
Kollwitzplatz, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin
Ökomarkt am Kollwitzplatz
20 April 2023
12:00 - 19:00
Kollwitzplatz, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin
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