Climate protesters, young and old, gathered Friday in Berlin and dozens of other German cities to demand tougher government action against global warming, particularly when it comes to curbing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector.
The Free Democrats, a small pro-business party that controls Germany's Ministry of Transport, has pushed back against efforts to impose a general speed limit, phase out combustion engines and reduce road building.
The refusal has frustrated the party's larger coalition partners — Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democrats and the environmentalist Greens — as well as climate campaigners who say Germany is missing its own emissions targets.
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Among them was retired Protestant pastor Reinhart Kraft, 85, who staged a one-man protest outside the Free Democrats' headquarters in the German capital with a sign reading "End the climate boycott."
Kraft urged Scholz to put his foot down on the issue and praised the young activists who planned to stage a rally in the capital's government district later Friday.
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"We need pressure," he said. "And I hope very much that the young generation doesn't let up."
The protests in Germany are part of a global "climate strike" called by the group Fridays for Future, which drew inspiration from Swedish activist Greta Thunberg's protests outside the parliament in Stockholm.
Public transportation labor unions, whose members are on strike in parts of Germany to demand higher wages, expressed support for the climate protest.