'Fridays for Future' protesters take to the streets again
Brussels, Oct 29: Fridays for Future protesters have hit the streets again, most notably in Israel and Scotland.
This week's protests gained extra meaning in the wake of a United Nations report saying the climate damage was wreaking so much havoc that we are almost at the point of no return.
In Tel Aviv, protest organizer Miriam Frank told DW's Tania Krämer that the report was just another wake-up call, all of which had so far fallen on deaf ears. Frank said she fears nothing will change despite the severity of the UN's message.
"It was devastating to read. But it was not surprising. Again and again, year after year, we are reading these reports. And each time our heart breaks more," Frank said. "That's why I'm here today, telling the politicians to act now. This report is just another awakening call to something we already know. The climate crisis is hurting people now."
On Wednesday, climate researchers sounded the alarm, saying too little was being done to prevent temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees Celcius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), the threshold after which climate risks heighten.
'Just counting dead trees'
In the southern German city of Munich, scientists held climate protests as well.
"I don't want to be here; I'm afraid of the consequences... but we are desperate," tropical ecologist Laure-Anne Gateaux told the AFP news agency at a protest in the Bavarian capital staged by the Scientist Rebellion group.
"I was just counting dead trees: I was counting droughts, I was counting flooding," she added. "I don't want to do that! As an ecologist, you just count deaths. You just count hectares of land burning. It is not possible, we need to stop it before our entire planet collapses."
Gateaux and 14 other Scientist Rebellion activists wearing white lab coats glued themselves to a busy shopping street in Munich. Chanting slogans such as "You can't negotiate with physics!" and "Listen to the science!," they stopped traffic for several hours on one of the city's busiest streets.
Friday's protests come as researchers and politicians prepare to gather in Egypt for the UN's annual climate change conference in Egypt in November.
+++ UPDATE +++— Scientist Rebellion (@ScientistRebel1) October 28, 2022
Thirteen activists have been detained by the police.
How many more people need to be detained for governments to hear that people demand change? There's no more time to waste! #UniteAgainstClimateFailure
Last year's event was held in Glasgow, where demonstrators took to the streets on Friday dressed up in Halloween costumes.
One banner showed a picture of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, with the words, "You'll Die of Old Age. I'll Die of Climate Change." On Friday, the recently installed PM said he would not attend this year's climate change conference in Sharm el-Sheikh.
Organizers of the march in Glasgow said their aim was "to highlight the failures of COP26, as well as the UK government's 'greenwashing' and the links between the climate crisis and the cost-of-living crisis."
Adam Ballard, 16, one of the organizers behind Friday's demonstration, told The Herald newspaper: "The climate crisis and the cost-of-living crisis have the same root: the refusal to move away from fossil fuels.
"There is no oil shortage; there is a corrupt system that prioritizes profit over people," he added.
German activist airs frustration
Earlier this week, climate activist Luisa Neubauer spoke with German Finance Minister Christian Lindner of the business-focused Free Democrats saying she was disappointed by his lack of urgency on the matter of climate protection.
"We are not convinced that the finance minister is aware of the ecological time pressure and his responsibility in all this," Neubauer told the German news agency DPA.
According to Neubauer, the meeting was about the demand of the activists to set up a special fund of €100 billion for climate investments.
Lindner rejected the proposal and referred to the billions of euros already planned to be invested in climate protection.
Regarding the exchange with the activists, Lindner said that it had been "constructive."