11 Feb 2022, 13:44
Sören Amelang

Fridays for Future accuses new German government of failing on climate promise

Clean Energy Wire

The German Fridays for Future climate protest movement has said the new German government is nowhere near to implementing the policies necessary to address the climate emergency. "It's dramatic to see that even this government, which takes pride in being more climate-friendly than any previous administration, doesn't have the courage and refuses to do what is necessary," Luisa Neubauer, one of the leading figures of the movement in Germany, said at a press conference. At the first ever Fridays for Future annual kick-off press conference, Neubauer said the government's start suggested a total failure to deliver on its promise to get the country on a path compatible with the target of limiting the rise in global temperatures to 1.5°C. "By no measure are we anywhere near a 1.5-degree target," she said, adding "Dear government, it's not working, we can't continue like this."

Neubauer said plans for new motorway construction, a failure to implement an autobahn speed limit, and a ban on domestic flights showed the government still "lacked the courage to look truth in the face." She said her movement planned to put the fight for a transition to a sustainable transport system to the forefront of its activities. Neubauer called for an immediate moratorium on new motorway construction, adding her movement would fight the felling of trees for new projects. "For us, every forest is the last forest." She said the start of the new government was proof that "massive pressure from civil society" was necessary to initiate real change. Asked on her stance on controversial road blocking protests by other climate activists, Neubauer repeatedly refused to embrace or condemn their actions. She only said it was sad that people felt the need to resort to more radical actions.

The youth-lead Fridays for Future movement is inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who skipped school for the climate each Friday starting in 2018, and is now a household name across the world.

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