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What do Fridays for Future want? November 8, 2019

Posted by Citizen of Nowhere in Uncategorized.

Fridays for Future are best known, at least in some parts of the world, for their regular Friday school strikes and demonstrations, comprising mainly young people. They have, as is the way with movements that threaten established power, been variously ignored, vilified or misrepresented.

But what do they want?

Their central demand is that the established science around our climate emergency be listened to and acted upon. As such they have worked with another facet of the movement – Scientist for Future – to draw up a set of demands. I haven’t found a better description of these than on the German Fridays for Future website: https://fridaysforfuture.de/forderungen/

We must do everything we can to prevent a mean temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C relative to that of the pre-industrial era.

In order to avoid breaching this critical limit, in consultation with the scientists and engineers of Scientists for Future, the German branch demands the following from their national government:

    1. A net zero CO2 (and other greenhouse gas) emission by 2035.
    2. No more coal should be burned after 2030
    3. Completely renewal energy by 2035

But, given that so far the game played by governments have been to promise the earth in a decade or two and do nothing immediately, they demand the following for this year, 2019:

    1. The end of all subsidies for fossil fuels. Currently Germany subsidises the poison to the tune of €46 billion per year.
    2. The shutting down of one quarter of the existing coal-fired electricity generating plant.
    3. A tax of at least €180 per tonne of CO2 emissions. (Currently it stands well under €10 in the emissions trading market).

Significantly, Fridays for Future demand that none of the costs of the above should be borne by the poor and those living in the country. This would, for instance, mean a universal basic service of plentiful free public transport, run on renewable energy, for all including those living in rural areas.

Admirably concrete, and technically do-able.

As a consequence, Fridays for Future have dismissed the ‘much ado about nothing’ promises of the German government’s Climate Cabinet as irrelevant. And they will continue their mobilisation focusing on Friday strikes. The next big transnational strike/demo being scheduled for the 29th of November.


1. WorldbyStorm - November 9, 2019

Thanks for that outline. Very very useful.


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