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posted: 11/5/2017 7:00 AM

Anti-coal protesters march in Germany before climate meet

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  • Anti-coal demonstrators clash with police as they  gather near the surface mining Hambach, near Kerpen, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017 one day ahead of the opening of the UN Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany.  (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)

    Anti-coal demonstrators clash with police as they gather near the surface mining Hambach, near Kerpen, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017 one day ahead of the opening of the UN Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany. (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)
    Associated Press

  • Anti-coal demonstrators march  near the surface mining Hambach, near Kerpen, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017 one day ahead of the opening of the UN Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany.  (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)

    Anti-coal demonstrators march near the surface mining Hambach, near Kerpen, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017 one day ahead of the opening of the UN Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany. (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)
    Associated Press

  • Anti-coal demonstrators gather near the surface mining Hambach, near Kerpen, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017 one day ahead of the opening of the UN Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany.  (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)

    Anti-coal demonstrators gather near the surface mining Hambach, near Kerpen, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017 one day ahead of the opening of the UN Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany. (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)
    Associated Press

  • Anti-coal demonstrators gather near the surface mining Hambach, near Kerpen, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017 one day ahead of the opening of the UN Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany.  (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)

    Anti-coal demonstrators gather near the surface mining Hambach, near Kerpen, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017 one day ahead of the opening of the UN Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany. (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)
    Associated Press

  • Anti-coal demonstrators gather near the surface mining Hambach, near Kerpen, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017 one day ahead of the opening of the UN Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany.  (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)

    Anti-coal demonstrators gather near the surface mining Hambach, near Kerpen, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017 one day ahead of the opening of the UN Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany. (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)
    Associated Press

  • Anti-coal demonstrators gather near the surface mining Hambach, near Kerpen, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017 one day ahead of the opening of the UN Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany.  (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)

    Anti-coal demonstrators gather near the surface mining Hambach, near Kerpen, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017 one day ahead of the opening of the UN Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany. (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)
    Associated Press

 
 

BERLIN -- More than 2,500 anti-coal demonstrators protested in the western German town of Kerpen and at a nearby surface-mining site before an upcoming global climate conference in Bonn.

The dpa news agency reported Sunday that a large group of the initial protesters split off to march on the mining site behind a banner reading "We Are Nature Defending Itself."

Riot police scuffled with some of the demonstrators but there were no major incidents reported.

German leader Angela Merkel has been dubbed the "Climate Chancellor" for her ambitious targets for renewable energy, but Germany still gets about 40 percent of its electricity from coal-fired plants.

Before the 2017 U.N. Climate Conference that begins Monday, many protesters have been urging her to move faster to wean the country off coal.

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