11 Mar 2019, 14:17
Rachel Waldholz

New parents’ group backs student climate protests in Germany

Deutsche Welle / Bild am Sonntag

The weekly “Fridays for Future” school strikes have prompted a fierce debate in Germany over whether students should be allowed to skip school to demonstrate for more action on climate change. Now, a new parents’ group has formed to support the students, Julia Vergin reports for Deutsche Welle. "We support our kids and their demands, and explicitly support school strikes," Thomas Stegh, who helped create the new Parents for Future initiative, told Deutsche Welle. The group has written a letter to German schools “urging them to seek mutually accepted solutions to the phenomenon of ‘striking schoolchildren’” and it supports student demands that global leaders honour the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Similar groups have also formed in Austria, Sweden, Australia and the US.

Meanwhile, Christian Lindner, the head of the pro-business Liberal party (FDP), told tabloid Bild am Sonntag that students should leave climate policy “to the professionals” as “kids and teenagers cannot be expected to understand all global connections”. The remark prompted a storm of criticism, including that of climate researcher Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who tweeted that “climate professionals are clearly on the side of the students!”.

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