Berlin / Wellington –
It is a wave of protests for more climate protection, and all around the world: Hundreds of thousands of young people are demonstrating this Friday in more than 100 countries under the motto “Fridays for Future” for drastic steps against global warming.
Thousands of students started in the morning in New Zealand. In the Pacific state alone, over 30 demonstrations were planned. 1700 rallies and student strikes have been announced worldwide, around 200 in Germany.
Greta Thunberg becomes an icon for climate protests
Symbolic of the wave of protest is the 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg, who has been demonstrating for many weeks on Fridays for the fight against climate change, instead of going to school. It has become an icon for climate protectors around the world.
The movement, originally initiated by young people, also receives support from other generations. Around 20,000 scientists from Germany, Austria and Switzerland have signed a statement in order to emphasize the concerns of the climate movement. Parents also stand with “Parents for Future” on the side of the young people. They ask, inter alia, to refrain from school referrals or other disciplinary measures when students stay away from the class for protests.
According to the CDU member of parliament Philipp Amthor the protests should begin only after the end of class. “I always like the political interest of the students. But they can also pursue this in their free time, “said the 26-year-old of the” Heilbronner Stimme “(Friday). “When choosing between lessons and climate dues at school, many opt for climate dailies. When choosing between Playstation and Klimademos in the afternoon, it looks quite different for some. “
Support from Merkel and Steinmeier
Last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier had welcomed the student protests. Many of the adults would not yet have noticed “that it is five to twelve,” said Steinmeier in Neumnster to students of a “Fridays For Future” vigil. It is not just about protecting the climate, but also about the protection of the oceans. He said, “We need young people like you to interfere.”
In New Zealand, the motto is “Strike 4 Climate”. Coordinator Sophie Handford (18) told the German Press Agency: “We are the ones who will inherit this earth. We deserve to have a say in what kind of future we will have. “
Time is pressing: According to findings of the IPCC, the Earth has already warmed by about one degree compared to pre-industrial times, and in Germany even more strongly. The years 2015 to 2018 were, according to analyzes of the World Weather Organization, the four warmest since the beginning of the records in the 19th century. If it continues as before, the world is probably well three degrees warmer at the end of this century.
Fears of severe consequences of climate change
The fatal consequences include more heat waves, prolonged droughts and more storms, heavy rain and high water. To stop the trend, the emission of greenhouse gases, for example from the burning of coal and oil or animal husbandry, must be greatly reduced.
The SPD also hopes that the student protests will provide tailwind for the controversial climate protection law. The movement “Fridays for Future” was “especially in view of the brakes in politics and business a very important voice for effective climate protection and thus for an ambitious climate protection law in Germany,” said parliamentary group Vice Matthias Miersch the German Press Agency. The young demonstrators wanted climate protection to begin now. “I want that too,” said Miersch.