According to Fridays for Future, about 1.9 million people took to the streets in the first global climate protest in mid-March. There were protests in 2,379 cities in 134 countries, including 207 in Germany. In May, more than 320,000 pupils from more than 280 German cities and across Europe millions of students demonstrated two days ahead of the EU elections for more climate protection. The international Fridays for Future movement—also known as "School Strike 4 Climate", "Youth for Climate" or "Youth Strike 4 Climate"—brought the EU elections into the focus of political debates and made them the "climate elections".
This makes an impact: The movement has left a noticeable mark in Germany's political debate on climate, putting particular pressure on the parties in Chancellor Angela Merkel's government coalition. Merkel's CDU has come under additional pressure for its cack-handed response to a video by a 26-year old youtuber, who attacked the party in a nearly 1-hour long video (German only) with at present over 15.5 million viewers for its record on issues important to younger people, including climate policy.
But how stop climate change? A solution for a successful energy system transformation could include the transformation to a completely decarbonised, atomic energy-free and socially, and economically compatible energy system. Therefore, Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke, Jana Rasch and Judith Schröder from the Wuppertal Institute as well as Dr. Daniel Lorberg from the University of Wuppertal in their recently published Wuppertal Spezial "The Energy Transition in Europe" prove that this is feasible on the basis of numerous studies and practical examples.
Before the European elections, climate protection was one of the top voter issues. Meanwhile, Europe has voted. Now it is time for implementation. All that remains now is to translate this into concrete, effective political action. In the coming months, important steps can and must be taken to protect the climate.
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Christin Hasken & Anna Riesenweber