Climate protests criticized; but Germany missing 2030 goal

Nov 3, 2022, 4:39 PM | Updated: Nov 4, 2022, 12:53 pm
FILE -- Two climate activists carrying a banner 'What, if the government can't handle it?' have stu...

FILE -- Two climate activists carrying a banner 'What, if the government can't handle it?' have stuck themselves to the handrails of a dinosaur skeleton in Berlin's Museum of Natural History in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022. (Paul Zinken/dpa via AP, file)

(Paul Zinken/dpa via AP, file)

BERLIN (AP) — German officials urged environmental activists to engage in “constructive” protests and avoid endangering lives Friday as government-appointed experts warned that the key European Union country risks missing its climate targets for 2030.

A heated debate has broken out over activists’ methods after road blockades caused by a Monday protest delayed a specialist rescue crew from reaching a cyclist fatally injured in a traffic accident in Berlin. Some German media declared the protesters “shared the blame” for the woman’s death.

Climate activists also were criticized for gluing themselves to a dinosaur exhibit, throwing food over valuable paintings and spraying political party offices with paint.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz “supports all democratic engagement, and we have repeatedly stressed that in connection with the climate protests,” Wolfgang Buechner, the chancellor’s spokesperson, told reporters. “But the form of protest that we are seeing now, this week in particular, is not effective or constructive.”

Buechner noted Scholz had stressed Monday that protests must not lead to endangering other people.

“People’s lives must not be endangered, and so we do not accept this form of protest,” Buechner said, urging instead protests that unite society to work for faster climate change.

The chancellor’s spokesman insisted that protecting the climate was “the central concern” of the German government and said it was already working hard on “ambitious” policy aims.

“Our aim is very clear: We, as the whole German government, want to implement effective climate policy, and we are making that clear with our determination to act,” he said.

Europe’s biggest economy wants to slash greenhouse gas emissions by at least 65% from 1990 levels by 2030 and has plans in place to sharply boost renewable energy production while phasing out fossil fuels.

But the government’s own advisers cast doubt Friday on Germany’s ability to meet that target, saying the country needs to reduce its emissions twice as fast as the yearly average from over the past decade. In some sectors, such as industry and transportation, the cuts would need to be 10 times higher or more, the five-member panel said.

Its chair, Hans-Martin Henning of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, said Germany’s efforts to improve energy efficiency were being undone by higher consumption, such as from larger homes and increased mobility.

The panel’s findings are a blow to Germany’s green credentials ahead of this year’s U.N. climate talks in Egypt, which start next week.

Facing an energy crunch as a result of Russia’s war on Ukraine, the German government announced plans to reactivate old oil and coal-fired power stations, import more liquefied natural gas and extract more coal from its own mines, angering climate activists.

The government insists the measures are temporary and the overall shift to clean energy will be accelerated. On Thursday, Germany inked a preliminary deal to buy more natural gas from Egypt and to help the North African nation develop production facilities for hydrogen.

Germany has also tried to make up for its own high historical emissions by helping countries that are now bearing the brunt of global warming’s impacts. The government said Friday that it would provide Peru with about 352 million euros ($345 million) to help the Latin American nation improve its public transit system and to combat deforestation in the Amazon.

Activists from the group Uprising of the Last Generation, which staged the museum protests and road blockades, expressed sadness at the cyclists’s death Friday, but said they would continue to protest until the German government does enough to tackle the climate crisis.

The Germany daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Friday cited a confidential report by the emergency doctor at the scene of the crash stating that the delayed arrival of the specialist crew made no difference to the victim’s medical treatment.

___

Follow AP’s coverage of climate issues at https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

The Rev. Paula Stecker, of the Christ the King Lutheran Church, walks in front of a memorial set up...
Associated Press

Colorado governor visits gay club shooting memorial

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Tuesday visited the memorial outside a gay club where five people were killed last week, solemnly walking along a line of flowers, crosses and signs bearing the photos and names of the victims outside the building with the club’s owners. When he reached the end, […]
18 hours ago
FILE - An SUV rests inside an Apple store behind a large hole in the glass front of the store on No...
Associated Press

Lawsuits claim negligence in Massachusetts Apple store crash

BOSTON (AP) — The family of a man who was badly hurt when an SUV crashed into an Apple store in Massachusetts, killing one person and injuring 20, sued the company, the driver and the property owners Tuesday in one of the first lawsuits filed over the crash. Matthew Timberger, of Falmouth, suffered broken bones […]
18 hours ago
FILE - This Oct. 7, 2003 file photo shows a closeup of a human brain affected by Alzheimer's diseas...
Associated Press

Drug slows Alzheimer’s but can it make a real difference?

An experimental Alzheimer’s drug modestly slowed the brain disease’s inevitable worsening, researchers reported Tuesday — but it remains unclear how much difference that might make in people’s lives. Japanese drugmaker Eisai and its U.S. partner Biogen had announced earlier this fall that the drug lecanemab appeared to work, a badly needed bright spot after repeated […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Mexico says tourists lost documents in fire on resort island

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Tourists and local people escaped unharmed from a large fire that raged in an area of hotels and guest houses on the island of Holbox, at the tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Mexican officials said Tuesday, Authorities said some tourists lost their documents to the blaze. It was not clear how […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Big tobacco tries to stop California flavored tobacco ban

SAN DIEGO (AP) — R.J. Reynolds and other tobacco companies filed a request Tuesday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to impose an emergency order to stop California from enforcing a ban on flavored tobacco products that was overwhelmingly approved by voters earlier this month. The ban was first passed by the state legislature two years […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Trump Organization's former Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, center, arrives to co...
Associated Press

Key allegations, witnesses as Trump Org. trial winds down

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump’s inaugural address clocked in at just 16 minutes. Closing arguments that are slated for Thursday in his company’s criminal tax fraud case? Prosecutors and defense lawyers say those could take seven hours or more. Those projections speak to the complexity of the case, which stems from longtime […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
Climate protests criticized; but Germany missing 2030 goal