German Protesters Call for Climate Action as Election Nears - The New York Times
Sep 24, 2021 1 min, 17 secs
Protests took place worldwide, but those in Germany had heightened urgency amid calls for the next government to do something about climate change.

BERLIN — 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.

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.

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.

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.

Recent polls have shown the next German government could include left-leaning environmentalists who many hope will bring real change.

They are also demanding that Germany speed up its plan to reach climate neutrality, when net carbon emissions hit zero, 10 years earlier than planned, to help limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the lower boundary defined in the Paris Agreement.

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