German environmental activists step up their mobilization to make climate a top priority

Environmental activists in Germany are making remarkable efforts to get their message across as climate change slips off the news agenda as Germany grapples with the energy and Ukraine crises.

This week, about a dozen activists sprayed an office in Berlin with a black, oil-like liquid and stood in front of the building with a banner that read: “Save oil instead of drilling.”

Activists want the government to promise not to extract oil from the North Sea.

“We know that fossil fuels can only exacerbate the ongoing climate catastrophe,” said 25-year-old law student Miriam Hermann.

Six months ago, Germany elected a new coalition government that promised to make climate change one of its top priorities.

The Green Party came to power for the first time in more than two decades, forming a coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD) under Chancellor Olaf Schulz and the liberal Free Democratic Party.

Green Party Economy Minister Robert Habeck announced an ambitious 60 billion euro ($68 billion) climate investment plan and pledged that by 2030 Germany would phase out coal power and generate 80 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources.

But since then, the crisis in Ukraine has overshadowed climate concerns, a severe energy crisis and record inflation.

Germany has accelerated its plans to import liquefied natural gas by sea, is keen to explore new oil and gas reserves in the North Sea, and has even decided to revive coal-fired power plants.

The government has said it is still on track to meet its climate targets by 2030, but protesters are not convinced.

Source: AFP

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