Climate protection: Lemke: Will not be able to live like the last 40 years

Taking the whole of society with us when it comes to climate protection - politicians repeatedly emphasize this as a goal, but it seems to be a Herculean task.

Climate protection: Lemke: Will not be able to live like the last 40 years

Taking the whole of society with us when it comes to climate protection - politicians repeatedly emphasize this as a goal, but it seems to be a Herculean task. Environment Minister Steffi Lemke has now warned against populism in the debate about the acceptance of climate protection measures. "When Friedrich Merz says, 'We still have 20 years' time,' he is downplaying the problems that have arisen and will continue to arise as a result of Russia's war of aggression, the climate crisis, the extinction of species or the growing global demand for raw materials," said Die Green politician of the German Press Agency. "I can also understand all those young people who may not want to start a family for a few years and are wondering under what circumstances their children will grow up."

She knows that it will be difficult when it comes to implementing a commitment to climate protection. Especially in the areas that affect everyday life, question marks, worries and hardships arise. "That's why I'm very much in favor of conducting a careful, factual debate," said Lemke. "No one should succumb to the temptation of populism because they think they can make political profit from it in the short term."

The CDU chairman Friedrich Merz had previously said in the ARD "Morgenmagazin" that he still saw "the next 20 years" on the way to climate neutrality. "We're talking about climate neutrality by 2045. And of course we don't have to start there, we have to be there." For the CDU, the crucial question is how to set out on this path. Germany has already saved 40 percent of CO2 in the past 30 years.

When it comes to climate protection, the fronts have hardened

Environment Minister Lemke sees a need for action more quickly. "In the future we will neither be able to do business nor live exactly like my generation did in the last 40 years - we all know that. The question is what we can do with this knowledge now," said the Green Party. Politician. "You can stick your head in the sand, you can exploit it populistically or you can say, 'Yes, it will definitely be a challenge, but let's tackle it now and take everyone with us'."

This will probably not be easy: When it comes to climate protection, the fronts often seem hardened. On the one hand, climate activists stick themselves to the street to block traffic. And they are faced with annoyed drivers who are late for work.

"I understand when people demonstrate for more climate protection and also for those who criticize the government and the Greens, who are not moving fast enough," said Lemke. "But I'm concerned that the actions of the 'last generation' will not lead to us gaining more acceptance for climate action." Dissatisfaction is growing on both sides: "Among the people who are going too slowly and among those who are afraid that things are going too fast. We must not allow that."

Habeck criticizes radical forms of protest

Economics Minister Robert Habeck made a similar statement. The seriousness of the radical climate activists impressed him more than great indifference, said the Green politician at an event of the editorial network Germany (RND) in Kiel. However, radicalization does not create a majority in contrast to the actions of Fridays for Future. Habeck appealed to the people: "Find forms of protest that create majorities for your concerns and don't withdraw into a niche where you can only have a majority among those of your own kind."

The climate group Last Generation keeps attracting attention with protest actions - for example traffic blockades - all over Germany. The activists are calling for more decisive action against climate change and for the establishment of a social council with random members. In the past few days, they have intensified the protest in the capital.

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