"Germany's green energy switch is well underway. But it's passed by some parts of the country. North Rhine Westphalia remains home to an extensive coal industry, despite the environmental damage it wreaks. "
Germany's Greens have said the 20 dirtiest coal-fired power plants must be shut if they form coalition with Merkel. Polls indicate the Greens could be part of a three party coalition.
Thousands of European climate change activists have descended on the heartland of Germany's coal industry. The movement brings together a broad coalition of social justice activists wanting to challenge the status quo.
The chancellor has fought for international climate agreements but critics say she has let industry profits win out at home. What will another four years of Merkel mean for Germany's battle against carbon emissions?
The protest is part of a five-day series of demonstrations aimed at pressing the government to end its use of coal. Some 3,000 people joined hands to make their point.
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