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15 May 2019, 12:25
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germany’s far-right AfD focuses on climate denial ahead of EU elections to woo disgruntled voters

The Guardian

Climate change denial has become a key topic of Germany’s far-right populist party AfD ahead of the EU parliamentary elections and the party particularly focuses on discrediting the Fridays for Future school student movement to woo voters that are dissatisfied with policies that prioritise emissions reduction, Kate Conolly writes for The Guardian. Founded in 2013 in opposition to Germany’s monetary policy in the Eurozone crisis and boosted significantly by its vocal rejection of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s migration and asylum policies in 2015, the AfD has since substantially ramped up its engagement against climate action, for example by calling student movement figurehead Greta Thunberg a “cult” leader. “We are experiencing a shift to the right on social media and in society. In a short period of time, the new right has established its own counter-society on climate issues,” Greenpeace’s Karsten Smid told the newspaper.

In a recent study on right-wing populist parties in Europe, the AfD had been identified as being among the most hardline climate change deniers. It could become a leading actor among several right-wing populist parties that are poised to increase their presence in the EU parliament after the elections.

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