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Greenpeace dumps coal near Élysée

Protest comes before President François Hollande was due to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel

GREENPEACE activists dumped five tonnes of coal in front of the Élysée Palace early this morning, hours before German Chancellor Angela Merkel was due to meet President François Hollande.

They also parked a truck containing two tanks of water contaminated with nuclear waste - though a spokesperson for the environmental campaign group assured the public that the water was safe.

Greenpeace demanded Mrs Merkel and Mr Hollande say “no to coal and nuclear power”.

The two leaders were meeting today to discuss a range of subjects, including energy research, internet security and the eurozone.

A statement on the French Greenpeace website said: “The German Chancellor and the President of the French Republic must work together for a binding target of 45% renewable energy in Europe.”

The European Commission has proposed a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU of 40% by 2030, with a binding target of 27% renewable energy in Europe.

EU leaders must decide on these proposals at a summit on March 20 and 21 in Brussels.

However, according to campaigner for Greenpeace France, Sébastien Blavier, “The objectives set by the two countries for a European climate and energy package by 2030 are really the opposite of those set out in speeches.”

Currently, at least two-thirds of France’s electricity is generated by nuclear power, while Germany’s coal-fired power stations supply 45% of its energy needs.

Watch a video of this morning's To add a link and open in new window: Greenpeace protest here


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