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19 Aug 2019, 13:06
Julian Wettengel

Fridays for Future will leave its mark – study

The Fridays for Future student climate protest movement will leave its mark on society, independent of its eventual duration, according to a working paper by the Institute for Social Movement Studies (ipb). The movement politicises and mobilises many young people that have had little contact with politics until now. It is unclear whether it has sparked a new generation of protesters, but "such an engagement at a young age has a strong influence on the general interest in social and political questions and on the later engagement in the course of life," write the researchers. As of now, there are no indications the movement is facing its downfall, they write. The mid-term success depends on future mobilisation levels and the ability to form strategic alliances and pushing the protests into thus far passive groups of society. "The success or failure of mobilising […] for the global climate strike on 20 September will play a decisive role in this regard."

The Fridays for Future school strikes for more rigorous climate action – inspired by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg – have initiated a broad debate in Germany over the effectiveness of its climate policy and the role of young people in pushing for political action. Chancellor Angela Merkel has acknowledged that the protests have pushed the government to speed up its decision-making process and act more resolutely on climate change.

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