How can land be saved from degradation

Dresden.260 place-name signs cover the forecourt of the state parliament and form a huge yellow cross. Each individual stands for a village that has already had to make way for coal mining. The three remaining localities of Pödelwitz and Obertitz near Leipzig, as well as Mühlrose in East Saxony, have therefore become more of a symbol of the movement: behind which a broad environmental alliance with more than 50 environmental activists gathered on Tuesday lunchtime - in addition to the residents of the villages.

To the protest "No coal for coal - all villages stay!" was called among other things by the Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation Germany. Despite the agreed coal phase-out by 2038, there is still no final all-clear for three villages. The coalition agreement says that Pödelwitz is to be preserved, but there is no legal remedy for this.

Apart from the demonstrators, there was also State Secretary Gerd Lippold (Greens), who not only came to the future of the villages for the hearing in the state parliament. "I'm here today to meet old friends, but also to give courage." Because Lippold is in good spirits that the economic committee of the Saxon state parliament, after running through all the scenarios, does not consider it necessary to dredge the villages away, even in the worst case becomes.

Andreas Bergner from the Regional Planning Association Leipzig-West Saxony confirmed the information from Lippold about Pödelwitz. The current opencast mine still contains around 160 million tons of lignite. According to the planning, the Lippendorf power plant should be operated for another 15 years and require ten million tons of coal or less annually. “As soon as there is legal certainty, investments can finally be made in the infrastructure of the villages again,” explains Lippold, making it clear that no one is gambling for higher compensation here. "These are all people who are attached to their homeland."

This confidence was also felt among the activists. For two years, Franziska Knauer has been committed to the "All villages stay!" Initiative. and is becoming more and more confident that her homeland Pödelwitz can be saved. "Above all from the climate movement, we feel a clear backing, but also from the fact that it is becoming increasingly clear that lignite is no longer necessary and unprofitable."

Representatives of the parliament (Serbski Sejm) also took part in the rally. Your settlement area in Lusatia is particularly affected: The mining of lignite would not only release CO2 and bury cultural identities, but also dug up the water. (SZ / with dpa)