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25 Jan 2019, 13:51
Julian Wettengel

German energy minister gets booed by student climate protesters

German economy and energy minister Peter Altmaier was booed by a crowd of about 5,000 student climate protesters, who demonstrated in front of his ministry where the country’s coal exit commission worked out the final details of a phase-out path. Representatives from the global student climate activist initiative "Fridays for Future" – kicked off by Swedish Greta Thunberg in summer 2018 – met with Altmaier ahead of the protest, but refused to let him take the stage later. The crowd booed and chanted “We are here, we are loud, because you are stealing our future.” Altmaier welcomed the protest: “I was ready to talk to the young people here, but of course I respect that they themselves decide the course of their protest,” Altmaier told journalists. He added that deciding a coal exit path is “much more difficult, because Germany can only contribute to saving the climate if it remains an economically strong and successful country” that inspires others.

In what could be its decisive meeting, Germany’s coal exit commission will attempt to find a compromise on the final details of a deal to phase out the use of the climate-damaging fossil fuel for electricity production within around two decades. “I believe they can come to a good result within the next days,” said Altmaier.

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