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Climate activists in Germany break into Fortum-linked coal plant

Activists say Germany's new coal power plant, Datteln 4, symbolises fossil fuel pollution.

Datteln 4 -voimalaa vastustava mielenosoitus liittokanslerin viraston edustalla Berliinissä 29. tammikuuta.
Activists in Berlin protesting the Datteln 4 plant on 29 January. Image: Stefan Boness / AOP

On Sunday climate activists broke into a German coal power plant owned by Uniper, in which Finland’s Fortum utility is set to acquire a majority share.

"This is the only coal power plant under construction in western Europe," Fridays for Future climate activist Luisa Neubauer tweeted on Sunday.

The power station, located near Dortmund, is owned by energy company Uniper. Finland's majority-state-owned energy firm Fortum’s stake in Uniper is set to rise from 49.9 percent to 70.5 percent following an acquisition.

Datteln 4 will start running in mid-2020 and is the last new coal-fired power plant to enter service in Germany, which has decided to phase out the fossil-fuel by no later than 2038, according to news agency Reuters.

"We must immediately stop using fossil fuel energy or we’ll be on the path to a world that’s 4-6 degrees warmer," Kathrin Henneberger of anti-coal movement Ende Gelände was quoted as saying in a statement.

Activists breaking into Datteln 4 represent Ende Gelände as well as a group known as DeCOALonize Europe.

Uniper was created in 2016 when German electric utility E.ON divested its fossil fuel assets.

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