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01 Nov 2022, 13:40
Carolina Kyllmann

Chancellor Scholz criticises artwork targeting by climate activists

Clean Energy Wire

German chancellor Olaf Scholz has criticised the actions of climate activists targeting artworks and blocking traffic by gluing themselves to streets. “There are other ways in which people can express their opinion," he said during a press conference. “We need to accept critical attitude and critical protest,” said the chancellor, replying to a question on his stance on such protest forms. He added that it is obvious the “gluing actions” haven’t been met with widespread approval, including his. Climate activists have targeted multiple artworks in museums across Europe to draw attention to the cost-of-living crisis and government reactions to the climate crisis. In Germany, two protesters from the group Last Generation threw mashed potatoes over a Claude Monet painting in Potsdam on 23 October and two others glued themselves to an exhibition dinosaur skeleton in Berlin’s Natural History Museum on 30 October. Climate activists are also frequently blocking motorways and large street crossings in capitals like London and Berlin.

Activists say the German government has failed to properly address the climate crisis amidst reactions to the energy crisis. Recent actions from groups like the Last Generation have sparked a largely critical debate in the media about the legitimacy and effectiveness of such forms of protest. The Fridays for Future youth movement played a crucial role in advancing Germany’s debate on climate action and pushing parties across the spectrum to committing to policy in line with limiting global warming to 1.5°C. However, climate activist groups have been losing sympathy in German media since the end of 2020, according to an analysis by Media Tenor.

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