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Activists slam Germany for passive role during COP26 climate talks


Environmental activists say Germany’s role during the COP26 climate conference in the past two weeks has been too passive.

Oxfam climate expert, Jan Kowalzig, accused politicians of succumbing to the interests of Germany’s powerful car industry during the summit in Glasgow.

He criticised the country for a lack of willingness to join an alliance for the transition to emissions-free cars.

This showed that the German government was serving the needs of big car companies, he told dpa.

Luisa Neubauer, a leader of the Fridays for Future movement in Germany, said that Germany had already left a poor impression ahead of the summit by submitting an insufficient climate protection plan to the United Nations.

She called on the three parties currently in coalition talks to form the country’s next government to translate the target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius annually into climate-friendly policies.

It was “internationally unacceptable” to continue as the government under outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel, Neubauer said.

The chair of the German environmental organisation BUND, Olaf Bandt, said he was worried about the Social Democrats’ chancellor candidate, Olaf Scholz’s silence, on decisive climate policies.

Scholz had presented himself as the “climate chancellor” during the run-up to September’s elections.

Germany’s climate protection strategy was in urgent need of a “restart”, Bandt said.

Climate researcher, Niklas Hoehne, told the Rheinische Post newspaper’s Saturday edition that the country now had to “switch to climate emergency mode.

“Climate change is a threat that hasn’t been taken seriously enough in Germany so far’’, he said.

The expert slammed the negotiating parties, including Germany’s Greens, for abandoning the goal to introduce a speed limit on the country’s highways right at the beginning of talks.


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