Young voices/Germany: “I have a lot of hope”

German climate activist Linus Steinmetz (Photo: private)

Filed by Vanessa Kokoschka and Torsten Schäfer. “I have a lot of hope. Especially when you see how much energy is already being released when it comes to more climate protection and that is why I assume that we can achieve the goal”.

Linus Steinmetz (17) still thinks it is possible to limit average global warming to 1,5 degrees: “Yes, physically it is still possible to meet the target with CO-engineering measures to hold CO2 off.”

However, changes are required. «We need a fundamental political rethinking. We are living in a different time in terms of climate policy. If one has to speak very pragmatically, the next 30, 40 years are politically lost for them if the political leaders do not become a progressive player in the field of climate protection. Because those who are now hesitating and are now preventing measures are those who will not find a connection later if it is clear that climate protection must be immediate, urgent and very radical”

Regarding the signs of climate change in Germany, he mentions more wildfires. “And we see more droughts, less profitable harvests in the agricultural sector. But we also notice heat waves as an increasing phenomenon, which is already attacking the weak and the elderly and actually leading to a higher death rate. You can go on like this: There are more floods, more extreme weather events. It also contributes to the declining biodiversity in Germany, which we can also notice globally. And that is an economically damaging factor, which, as I said, will become much more present in the near future.”

Regarding media, Linus’ experiences as a Fridays for Future organizer is that “if we do great actions, journalists come by themselves. For example, I have now filed a lawsuit as a climate activist at the federal constitutional court.” Furthermore, he and other activists have organized an event on Siemens’ climate damaging behaviour. Such conflicts draw media attention. Furthermore, he observes “a general politicization of the topic in the entire media landscape and everyone is actually following suit. We also see an incredible amount of reporting on climate change in the world, which of course makes us happy, because we do not just want to reach our own filter bubbles, but also want to be a broad political movement that not only reaches politically-liberals, but also political conservatives. And we succeed more and more.”

Still, there is room for improvement. “I think the complexity of the issue is still not covered enough. For example, there is still too little reported concerning concrete achievements of climate goals, or about the lack of expansion of renewable energies by the federal parliament.”