Merkel to youth: Build political support for climate action

Posted 5/15/21

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she understands young people's frustration about the pace of efforts to combat climate change, but is stressing the need to build political …

To Our Valued Readers –

Visitors to our website will be limited to five stories per month unless they opt to subscribe.

For $5.99, less than 20 cents a day, subscribers will receive unlimited access to the website, including access to our Daily Independent e-edition, which features Arizona-specific journalism and items you can’t find in our community print products, such as weather reports, comics, crossword puzzles, advice columns and so much more six days a week.

Our commitment to balanced, fair reporting and local coverage provides insight and perspective not found anywhere else.

Your financial commitment will help to preserve the kind of honest journalism produced by our reporters and editors. We trust you agree that independent journalism is an essential component of our democracy. Please click here to subscribe.

Sincerely,
Charlene Bisson, Publisher, Independent Newsmedia

Please log in to continue

Log in
I am anchor

Merkel to youth: Build political support for climate action

Posted

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she understands young people's frustration about the pace of efforts to combat climate change, but is stressing the need to build political majorities to support effective action.

Merkel's Cabinet on Wednesday approved an ambitious plan to reduce Germany's greenhouse gas emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2045, five years earlier and with deeper cuts than previously planned. The move came after the country's top court, acting on complaints filed by individuals and backed by environmental groups, ruled in late April that the government must set clear goals for reducing emissions after 2030.

“I understand — and of course it saddens me a bit — that young people say, ‘man, did we have to go to court before they in the government give us what we are entitled to?'” Merkel said in a recorded online panel discussion at an event Saturday organized by Catholic and Protestant groups.

“One of the great advantages of democracy is that of course we now have to keep to this and take the next step," Merkel added. “But there also have to be majorities that do the right thing ... and so we must work on these majorities.”

Germany holds a national election on Sept. 26 in which all major contenders are portraying combating climate change as a priority and Merkel's center-right Union bloc faces a strong challenge from the environmentalist Greens. Merkel herself is not seeking a fifth term after nearly 16 years in office.

The chancellor said she would like “those who do something for climate protection, for sustainability and for biodiversity” to win, “but we have a lot of work to do — that is not a foregone conclusion.”

Luisa Neubauer, a member of the Fridays for Future group, told the same event: “To be honest, I think it's very difficult to frame climate protection with a ‘but we’re in a democracy' clause, because that implies that democracy is standing in our way.”

“It's obvious that more climate crisis won't do our democracies any good either,” she said.

___

Follow all AP stories on climate change at

Comments