In Germany, Greta Thunberg preaches for the climate two days before the election

Two days before the German legislative elections, thousands of environmental activists, led by Greta Thunberg, on Friday demanded stronger measures against global warming from candidates running for elections described as the vote “of the century” by activists.

“The political parties are not doing enough” for the climate, launched the young Swedish activist to a crowd of demonstrators gathered in front of the Reichstag in Berlin, where the German deputies sit.

“Yes, we have to vote and you have to vote. But do not forget that the vote alone will not be enough ”, continued the young woman, acclaimed by the audience. “We must continue to take to the streets and demand that our leaders take concrete action for the climate.”

Her message was addressed to both the demonstrators and the candidates running to replace Angela Merkel in the chancellery, after a suspense vote on Sunday, the games of which remain fully open.

For the future of the planet, it is about the vote “of the century”, affirmed to AFP Luisa Neubauer, head in Germany of the movement “Fridays for future”.

“Fridays for future”, launched in 2018 and become the forum for the “climate generation”, is organizing its 8th “strike” on Friday in more than 70 countries, with 470 mobilizations planned in Germany.

“The earth is feverish”, “This is our future”, “Vote” proclaimed the signs brandished in Berlin by a majority of teenage demonstrators, but also families with young children.

“I have school today but it’s more important to do something for the future than to go there,” Leonie Hauser, a 14-year-old girl present in the rally, told AFP.

Latest meetings

In the home stretch before the legislative elections, polls predict a close match between the Social Democrats in the lead with 25% of voting intentions and the conservative camp (CDU / CSU), which rose to 23% according to a latest Civey poll on Thursday.

The Greens, at the end of a campaign deemed disappointing, would obtain 15% of the voting intentions by taking third place, ahead of the Liberal Party (12%).

Their candidate, Annalena Baerbock, joined the climate demonstration in Cologne (west) on Friday before wrapping up her campaign not far from there, in Düsseldorf.

48 hours before a vote, the results of which will be scrutinized across Europe, the Conservative candidate, Armin Laschet, is expected in Munich alongside Angela Merkel.

After having withdrawn from the campaign, the leader, who will leave the political arena after 16 years in power, no longer spares her efforts to support the leader of her party, weakened by his lack of popularity and his missteps.

She will still be by his side on Saturday for a very last gathering in the stronghold of Armin Laschet, in Aachen.

Serious contender for the chancellery, the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, Minister of Finance and Vice-Chancellor of the outgoing government, is due to speak on Friday in Cologne before a final trip, on Saturday, to the constituency of Potsdam where he is seeking a deputy mandate .

Major challenge

In their electoral programs, the three main candidates made environmental protection one of their priorities for the next four years, pledging to act to limit global warming to 1.5 ° C.

During the election campaign in mid-July, Germany was hit by deadly floods, which left more than 180 people dead in the west of the country and are directly linked to climate change, experts say.

The objective of climate neutrality is consensus among the German parties, as is the development of renewable energies. But the times and means to achieve this are debated, between the left favorable to a large intervention of the State and the right which relies on the private sector.

The 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change called for limiting global warming to less than 2 ° C above pre-industrial level, and ideally 1.5 ° C.

But on the basis of the current commitments of the member states of the agreement, “the world is on the catastrophic path of 2.7 ° C”, recently warned UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

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