According to Fridays for Future, more than 220,000 people demonstrated today in over 250 locations across Germany for more climate protection. In Munich alone, a good 32,000 people took to the streets, in Berlin around 18,000 people and in Hamburg more than 12,000, said spokeswoman Annika Rittmann.
Slogans such as "Climate protection instead of coal pollution" and "Speed limit now!" were on the demonstrators' posters. There were also campaigns with thousands of participants in other countries, including Italy, Austria and New Zealand. The climate movement had announced hundreds of demonstrations and rallies on all continents.
The Verdi trade union was also involved in many places in Germany. She had called for warning strikes in local transport in several federal states - where public transport was paralyzed in many regions. According to Verdi, a total of 60,000 employees laid down their jobs.
There were large demonstrations in Germany, including in Frankfurt am Main, Dresden and Cologne. The climate activists primarily targeted the governing coalition of SPD, Greens and FDP. The traffic light alliance is still actively heating up the climate crisis, said Rittmann. "First and foremost the FDP, the most efficient blocker of climate protection." Prime Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) must intervene, but the self-proclaimed climate chancellor is watching "how the FDP is building new motorways, boycotting mobility for everyone and fueling injustice". On the other hand, what is needed is a stop to the expansion of motorways, the abolition of climate-damaging subsidies and more money for rail and local transport. "We don't just watch, we don't give up, people finally want real climate protection," she said.
At the rally in Berlin, the activist Luisa Neubauer targeted not only the federal government but also the coal, oil and gas companies. "They thought they could get away with green words and green speeches - whether it was parties, chancellors or corporations. They thought we wouldn't notice if they were secretly continuing, as if we had three more planets lying around on the motorway construction site."
Neubauer sharply criticizes the FDP
Neubauer also criticized the FDP particularly sharply. It was Olympic-ready how "this unpopular mini-party" successfully refused to "simply say yes to any good idea". In the federal government, the FDP is not only blocking the energy turnaround and the ecological turnaround in construction, but now also the EU-wide end of the combustion engine.
For Germany, Fridays for Future demands, among other things, a coal phase-out by 2030, 100 percent renewable energy supply by 2035 and the immediate end of subsidies for fossil fuels and an expansion freeze for motorways. The current call for a strike complains that terminals for the import of liquefied gas are being built in Germany at a rapid pace, while the expansion of renewable energies is still faltering.
At the international level, one of the key demands on politicians is to stop the financing of all oil and gas projects worldwide in order to avert the impending climate catastrophe and to meet the 1.5 degree target. What is meant is the goal agreed at the 2015 UN climate conference in Paris to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial times.
Earth has already warmed up by about 1.1 degrees
The earth has already warmed up by around 1.1 degrees, in Germany it is even 1.6 degrees. Depending on the region, the fatal consequences are more frequent and more severe storms, droughts, floods and heat waves. The international strike call states that every dollar that flows into the financing of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal is "stained with blood".
In Italy, too, young people in particular called for concrete measures for climate protection. "The climate is changing - why aren't we?" or "Our anger is renewable energy" could be read on posters in Florence. In Turin, supporters of the group Extinction Rebellion dyed the water of a fountain with beetroot to make it appear blood red in protest, agency Ansa reported. In addition, dead fish were placed in front of a government building.
The climate demos were inspired by the Swede Greta Thunberg, who first sat down in August 2018 at the age of 15 for a "school strike for the climate" in front of the parliament in Stockholm.