From the perspective of the climate movement Fridays for Future, politics and business are in “repression mode” when it comes to the fatal consequences of the climate crisis. Now another global day of action should build pressure.
With demonstrations in almost 250 locations in Germany, the climate protection movement Fridays for Future wants to demand more ambition from politicians in the fight against global warming. Hundreds more rallies and so-called climate strikes are planned in schools around the globe – demanding a rapid exit from coal, oil and gas.
“It has never been clearer than this summer: We are experiencing live the worsening of the climate crisis and at the same time a government without a climate policy plan,” said activist Annika Rittmann of the German Press Agency.
In Germany, the movement is calling for the introduction of climate money and the tightening of climate protection laws. The so-called climate money is stipulated in the coalition agreement between the SPD, the Greens and the FDP. It is intended to socially compensate for rising prices for the emissions of climate-damaging greenhouse gases. The current climate protection law plans to reduce climate-damaging emissions by 65 percent by 2030 compared to 1990. According to the Federal Environment Agency, the reduction is currently around 41 percent.
Demonstrations and protests worldwide
It is now the 13th global “school strike for the climate”. The movement was started five years ago by the Swede Greta Thunberg. As always, a particularly large number of participants in this country are likely to flock to the cities with millions of inhabitants. Herbert Grönemeyer, among others, will be playing live at the rally in Hamburg, and a performance by the pop band Juli is planned in Berlin.
Hundreds more demonstrations and protests are planned worldwide from today to Sunday, with organizers expecting millions of people to attend. According to the Climate Action Network, the “historic mobilization” is also aimed at a climate summit on September 20th in New York (Climate Ambition Summit), to which UN Secretary-General António Guterres has invited.
Despite all the climate protection promises of recent years, global emissions have reached a new high in 2022, according to figures from the International Energy Agency. The world has already warmed by around 1.1 degrees compared to pre-industrial times, and Germany has even warmed by 1.6 degrees. The eight warmest years since weather records began have been the last eight.
Appeal “to all generations and professional groups”
Fridays for Future activist Rittmann referred to the fatal consequences of global warming, such as the hurricanes over the Mediterranean that led to the catastrophe in Libya, burning and flooded Greek islands and also here in Germany heavy rain, drought and heat deaths. “It has never been more important than at this time for people to take to the streets with us to stand up together for the vision of a better future.”
Activist Pit Terjung said that halfway through its term in office, the traffic light government’s climate footprint looks disastrous. “With the threat of gutting the climate protection law, which Fridays for Future fought hard for, it is now planning an intolerable step backwards.”
The activist Luisa Neubauer said on Instagram that experience shows that the government only reacts to pressure from the street when it comes to climate protection. She wrote on Twitter: “We young people will not be able to solve our problems alone. We appeal to all generations and all professional groups to also take responsibility.”
According to a survey by Infratest Dimap, Fridays for Future has not yet been able to fundamentally change Germans’ attitudes towards climate and environmental issues. For three quarters of Germans (75 percent), the demonstrations had little (35 percent) or even no influence (40 percent) on their personal attitude to climate and environmental issues, as can be seen from the “Germany trend” in the ARD “Morgenmagazin”. Only 23 percent feel strongly (19 percent) or very strongly (4 percent) influenced by the movement.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.