23 Jul 2021, 13:24
Charlotte Nijhuis

Climate activists demand faster energy transition after flood disaster hits Germany

Clean Energy Wire, Welt

Activists are protesting for better climate protection measures after catastrophic floods hit several parts of Germany last week. On 23 July, environmental group Robin Wood kicks off a three-week raft tour from Berlin to Hamburg in order to push for a faster energy transition. “We need a rapid expansion of decentralised renewables, the promotion of energy efficiency, and the elimination of all government funding for fossil fuels,” the group wrote in a press release. On the same day, the youth climate movement Fridays for Future is holding demonstrations across the country to call for more climate action and commemorate the more than 170 victims of the floods. “There is no denying that this disaster is the result of climate policy that has ignored any warnings from science for decades and that a global climate crisis is coming our way," says activist Fabian Pesch in a press release.

The flood disaster is “the consequence of a political refusal to take scientific warnings seriously," said Luisa Neubauer, frontwoman of Fridays for Future Germany, during the ‘Markus Lanz’ talk show on broadcaster ZDF, Welt reports. Neubauer accused the German government of “cynical policy,” arguing it wants to help on the ground, in the flooded areas, but fails to make climate protection a priority. “What resonates here is a completely inappropriate arrogance,” the 25-year-old climate activist concluded. During the show, the also 25-year-old CDU member Wiebke Winter countered Neubauer’s approach. As co-founder of the KlimaUnion [climate union], which pushes for more climate action within the conservative party, Winter argues technological innovation is key to reaching climate-neutrality. The idea of prohibitions, such as a ban on flying, is “out of touch with life,” she said. Neubauer disagreed: “We do not lack innovative ideas; we clearly lack political will.”

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