Climate activist Greta Thunberg was detained by police along with a group of fellow activists during protests against the demolition of a German village to make way for a coal mine.

Nearly 300 protesters had gathered at the Garzweiler 2 opencast coal mine near the village of Lutzerath on Tuesday to demonstrate against the development.

The village is being cleared to allow for the expansion of the Garzweiler 2 coal mine. Climate activists argue that Germany should avoid mining more ignitable or brown coal in favour of renewable energy sources.

Thunberg said that the expansion of the mine is a "betrayal of present and future generations."

"Germany is one of the biggest polluters in the world and needs to be held accountable," she added while addressing the protesters.

The authorities called in riot police to remove the activists from abandoned buildings. However, some protesters, like Thunberg, continued their sit-in following which they were detained. A report in Marca claimed that police used water cannons and pepper spray to disperse the protesters.

"Greta Thunberg was part of a group of activists who rushed towards the ledge. However, she was then stopped and carried by us with this group out of the immediate danger area to establish their identity," a spokesperson for Aachen police told Reuters.

The image of Thunberg being carried away by the police has gone viral on social media. She was released after an identity check, according to police. Thunberg has been at the forefront of the fight against climate change for many years.

In 2018, she sat outside the Swedish parliament for days to make people aware of the threat posed by climate change. She was soon joined by thousands of students across Sweden who skipped school to protest against climate change.

She was even nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. She has delivered rousing speeches at the EU parliament, the UN, and the UK parliament, calling on world leaders to take swift action against climate change.

Greta Thunberg
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg joined protesters at Luetzerath in Germany. AFP / INA FASSBENDER