German embassy occupied by anti-coal protesters as UN releases call for drastic climate action

Posted by On 6:52 AM

German embassy occupied by anti-coal protesters as UN releases call for drastic climate action

Protesters have scaled the German embassy in London to urge Germany to stop mining coal, as a major UN report calls for unprecedented action to tackle climate change.

Many western European nations, including the UK, have committed to rapidly phasing out the high-polluting fossil fuel in their power stations over the next few years.

But Germany, which is home to Europe’s biggest open-cast coal mine, has made no such pledge, and current mining commitments extend to 2040.

Five Greenpeace climbers scaled the embassy building early on Monday morning, shortly before scientists at a press conference in South Korea made their call for the world to slash its CO2 emissions.

They unfurled a banner covering one side of the building reading: “EXIT COAL”.

“Today we received an unequivocal warning from the world’s greatest experts on the biggest threat we face. We need to kick our fossil fuel addiction, and fast,” said Franziska Grobke, one of the climbers.

“In that context, it’s genuinely difficult to believe that Europe’s technological superpower Germany is still relying on dirty, Victorian, coal-fired steam engines to power itself.”

In light of the new report produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Ms Grobke said it was clear all governments needed to speed up their emissions reductions.

IPCC: limiting global warming would require ‘unprecedented changes’, says Professor Jim Skea

The scientists concluded that to avoid the worst effects of climate change, warming must be limited to 1.5C. Wit h the commitments currently in place by world governments, this target will be broken within decades.

“We are here to urge Angela Merkel to stop letting coal lobbyists make Germany’s climate policy,” said Ms Grobke.

“She needs to listen to the world’s climate scientists and catch up with other wealthy European nations.”

Greenpeace is calling on Germany to adopt a 2030 coal exit plan. The UK is currently aiming to eradicate use of coal by 2025 and France by 2022.

leftCreated with Sketch. rightCreated with Sketch. ShapeCreated with Sketch.10 photographs to show to anyone who doesn't believe in climate change

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A group of emperor penguins face a crack in the sea ice, near McMurdo Station, Antarctica Kira Morris

2/10

Amid a flood in Islampur, Jamalpur, Bangladesh, a wo man on a raft searches for somewhere dry to take shelter. Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable places in the world to sea level rise, which is expected to make tens of millions of people homeless by 2050. Probal Rashid

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Hanna Petursdottir examines a cave inside the Svinafellsjokull glacier in Iceland, which she said had been growing rapidly. Since 2000, the size of glaciers on Iceland has reduced by 12 per cent. Tom Schifanella

4/10

Floods destroyed eight bridges and ruined crops such as wheat, maize and peas in the Karimabad valle y in northern Pakistan, a mountainous region with many glaciers. In many parts of the world, glaciers have been in retreat, creating dangerously large lakes that can cause devastating flooding when the banks break. Climate change can also increase rainfall in some areas, while bringing drought to others. Hira Ali

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Smoke â€" filled with the carbon that is driving climate change â€" drifts across a field in Colombia. Sandra Rondon

6/10

A river once flowed along the depression in the dry earth of this part of Bangladesh, but it has disa ppeared amid rising temperatures. Abrar Hossain

7/10

Sindh province in Pakistan has experienced a grim mix of two consequences of climate change. “Because of climate change either we have floods or not enough water to irrigate our crop and feed our animals,” says the photographer. “Picture clearly indicates that the extreme drought makes wide cracks in clay. Crops are very difficult to grow.” Rizwan Dharejo

8/10

A shepherd moves his herd as he looks for green pasture near the village of Sirohi in Rajasthan, northern India. The re gion has been badly affected by heatwaves and drought, making local people nervous about further predicted increases in temperature. Riddhima Singh Bhati

9/10

A factory in China is shrouded by a haze of air pollution. The World Health Organisation has warned such pollution, much of which is from the fossil fuels that cause climate change, is a “public health emergency”. Leung Ka Wa

10/10

Water levels in reservoirs, like this one in Gers, France, have been getting perilously low in areas across the world affected by drought, forcing a uthorities to introduce water restrictions. Mahtuf Ikhsan

1/10

A group of emperor penguins face a crack in the sea ice, near McMurdo Station, Antarctica Kira Morris

2/10

Amid a flood in Islampur, Jamalpur, Bangladesh, a woman on a raft searches for somewhere dry to take shelter. Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable places in the world to sea level rise, which is expected to make tens of millions of people homeless by 2050. Probal Rashid

3/10

Hanna Petursdottir examines a cave inside the Svinafellsjokull glacier in Iceland, which she said had been growing rapidly. Since 2000, the size of glaciers on Iceland has reduced by 12 per cent. Tom Schifanella

4/10

Floods destroyed eight bridges and ruined crops such as wheat, maize and peas in the Karimabad valley in northern Pakistan, a mountainous region with many glaciers. In many parts of the world, glaciers have been in retreat, creating dangerously large lakes that can cause devastating flooding when the banks break. Climate change can also increase rainfall in some areas, while bringing drought to other s. Hira Ali

5/10

Smoke â€" filled with the carbon that is driving climate change â€" drifts across a field in Colombia. Sandra Rondon

6/10

A river once flowed along the depression in the dry earth of this part of Bangladesh, but it has disappeared amid rising temperatures. Abrar Hossain

7/10

Sindh pr ovince in Pakistan has experienced a grim mix of two consequences of climate change. “Because of climate change either we have floods or not enough water to irrigate our crop and feed our animals,” says the photographer. “Picture clearly indicates that the extreme drought makes wide cracks in clay. Crops are very difficult to grow.” Rizwan Dharejo

8/10

A shepherd moves his herd as he looks for green pasture near the village of Sirohi in Rajasthan, northern India. The region has been badly affected by heatwaves and drought, making local people nervous about further predicted increases in temperature. Riddhima Singh Bhati

9/10

A factory in China is shrouded by a haze of air pollution. The World Health Organisation has warned such pollution, much of which is from the fossil fuels that cause climate change, is a “public health emergency”. Leung Ka Wa

10/10

Water levels in reservoirs, like this one in Gers, France, have been getting perilously low in areas across the world affected by drought, forcing authorities to introduce water restrictions. Mahtuf Ikhsan

Thousands of anti-coal demonstrators marched on Germany’s Hambach forest on Sat urday after a court victory saved part of the ancient woodland from being felled to make way for mining.

The massive event was seen as a celebration of this small success, but the organisers emphasised there remains a long way to go.

“This rally is about demanding that the German government break the deadlock of a climate policy that has failed to reduce carbon emissions for nearly a decade now, but it also is about showing governments everywhere that a growing climate movement is demanding an end to dirty and outdated fossil fuels,” said Martin Kaiser, executive director of Greenpeace Germany.

The Hambach forest mine has already resulted in 90 per cent of trees in the region being cleared.

Following the IPCC scientists’ conclusions, it is now up to the world’s governments to devise stricter emissions targets that will involve cutting CO2 emissions by nearly half within 12 years.

The Independent has contacted the German embassy for comment.

Source: Google News Germany | Netizen 24 Germany

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