Yes, we must vote and you must vote, but remember that voting will not be enough. We can still turn this around. People are ready for change. We demand the change and we are the change. — Greta Thunberg, the 18-year-old climate activist
Yes, we must vote and you must vote, but remember that voting will not be enough. We can still turn this around. People are ready for change. We demand the change and we are the change. — Greta Thunberg, the 18-year-old climate activist

As one of the main polluters, Germany must finally stop the destruction. Without massive pressure from us on the streets, no coalition will keep the 1.5-degree limit after the election. — Maia Stimmimg, a spokeswoman for Fridays for Future Germany
As one of the main polluters, Germany must finally stop the destruction. Without massive pressure from us on the streets, no coalition will keep the 1.5-degree limit after the election. — Maia Stimmimg, a spokeswoman for Fridays for Future Germany

German Protesters Call for Climate Action as Election Nears
Protests took place worldwide, but those in Germany had heightened urgency amid calls for the next government to do something about climate change.

Hundreds of thousands of young people around the world on Friday returned to the streets in the first global climate protest since the coronavirus pandemic forced them into lockdowns.

Protesters gathered in Bangladesh, in Kenya, the Netherlands and in many other countries. But nowhere was the call to action more urgent than in Germany, where an estimated several hundred thousand people turned out in more than 400 cities, putting pressure on whoever wins a national election Sunday to put climate protection at the top of their agenda.

Greta Thunberg, the 18-year-old climate activist who started the Fridays for Future protests in Stockholm in 2018 by skipping school as a way of shaming the world into addressing climate change, made a guest appearance at a protest in Berlin.

“Yes, we must vote and you must vote, but remember that voting will not be enough,” she told the crowd, urging them to stay motivated and keep up the pressure on politicians.

“We can still turn this around. People are ready for change,” she said. “We demand the change and we are the change.”


People of all ages marched through the center of Berlin, then rallied on the lawn before the Reichstag, where Germany’s Parliament meets. Thousands turned out for similar protests in other cities across the country.

Germans will elect new representatives to Parliament on Sunday, and never before has the issue of climate change played such a role in a German election. Despite entering office with ambitions to reduce carbon emissions in 2005, four successive governments under Chancellor Angela Merkel failed to significantly reduce Germany’s carbon footprint. It remains in the top 10 of the world’s most polluting countries, according to the World Bank.

It has been young climate activists, inspired by Ms. Thunberg, who have succeeded in bringing the climate debate to the forefront of Germany’s political discussion. This year, they successfully took the government to court, forcing a 2019 law aimed at bringing the country’s carbon emissions down to nearly zero by 2050 to be reworked with more ambitious and detailed goals to reduce emissions through 2030.

... “The last few months have shown how dishonestly the parties have been campaigning on the climate crisis, without even beginning to advocate sufficient measures to combat it,” said Maia Stimmimg, a spokeswoman for Fridays for Future Germany.

“As one of the main polluters, Germany must finally stop the destruction,” she said. “Without massive pressure from us on the streets, no coalition will keep the 1.5-degree limit after the election.”
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/24/world/europe/german-election-climate-action.html