The city of Kerpen is evidently withdrawing its appeal against the judgment of the Cologne Administrative Court, which declared the evacuation of the Hambach Forest in September to be unlawful.

The city council of the municipality in the Rhein-Erft district decided on this in its meeting on Tuesday evening, reports the Kölner Stadtanzeiger.

Accordingly, the SPD, the Greens, the Left and the local independent voter community Kerpen were able to prevail with a narrow majority.

In contrast, the CDU, AfD and the Citizens' Alliance wanted to hold on to the appeal, while the FDP abstained from voting.

Marcus Jung

Editor in business.

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The city council thus revised the requirements of the main committee. The committee appealed to the Higher Administrative Court (OVG) in Münster at the beginning of October. There is a high probability that it will no longer turn into a hearing after the appeal has been withdrawn. A reaction from the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia, which is not formally involved in the process, is still pending.

This means that the decision of the Chamber of the Administrative Court of Cologne remains in effect.

The administrative judges had declared the evacuation of tree houses built by environmental activists in the Hambach Forest in autumn 2018 to be illegal.

She justified her decision with various legal defects of the measure.

It was clear from the instructions of the state government that the argument of fire protection was only an advance and ultimately only served to remove the opponents of lignite from the forest.

The forest area just outside Cologne belongs to the electricity company RWE.

It has long been a symbol of the conflict between coal-fired power producers and environmental activists across Germany.

After the coal compromise, one thing is certain: the Hambach Forest will remain in place.

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