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Environmentalists in dismay as Europe's newest coal-powered plant opens in Germany

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When Datteln 4 opened on Saturday it was met by some 500 protesters.
When Datteln 4 opened on Saturday it was met by some 500 protesters.   -   Copyright  euronews
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Germany's newest coal-fired power plant was supposed to have opened almost a decade ago.

And when Datteln 4 did finally open on Saturday it was met by some 500 protesters.

But it's likely to close in just 18 years. That's because the federal government want all coal-fired power plants shut down by 2038.

Environmental groups have opposed the plant, which is on the edge of the city of Datteln in Germany's north-west, since construction began.

Around 150 former miners also joined the protest; they lost their jobs when Germany's last coal mine closed in 2018. The coal that Datteln 4 will burn will instead mostly come from Russia and Colombia.

It's run by a company called Uniper, three quarters of which was bought by the Finnish state-owned company Fortum.

The environmental group Greenpeace has pointed out that the Finnish government requires state-owned companies to abide by the 1.5 degree climate change target of the Paris climate agreement.