Protesters in Germany call for greater social solidarity in energy crisis
dpa / Clean Energy Wire
Several thousand people took to the streets across Germany on 22 October to demand solidarity and redistribution in the energy crisis, news agency dpa reported. With the motto “Solidarity autumn: Create social security, accelerate the energy transition,” the initiators called for targeted assistance for people with little money, higher taxes for the rich and a more consistent energy turnaround. According to the organisers, an alliance of civil society groups, at least 24,000 people took part in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Frankfurt am Main, Hanover and Stuttgart. Police estimated the number to be lower, dpa wrote. “The coming winter is about keeping society from falling apart and at the same time setting the course for climate policy,” the organisers said in a joint statement. “Solidarity is needed within society, between generations as well as with Ukraine.”
Germany has responded to the energy crisis with a series of relief packages for households and businesses, which have continuously grown in size and scope. The government presented a 200-billion-euro "defence shield" in September, which includes plans for reducing gas and electricity prices. One day prior to the protests, Germany's parliament backed this proposal. Previously, the government had already earmarked about 95 billion euros in support funds, spread out in three relief programmes, which included petrol tax cuts, a 9-euro flat-rate ticket for public transport, and a temporary freeze of the CO2-price for transport and buildings, which was meant to rise in early 2023.