Despite Germany's green energy transition, North Rhine-Westphalia remains home to an extensive brown coal industry. The RWE power company has hit problems after failing to invest in renewables.
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.
With German federal elections fast approaching, DW asked Niklas Höhne of NewClimate Institute why climate change isn't exciting voters and where the different parties stand on environmental issues.
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?
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.
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