Do politicians recognize the demands of the Fridays for Future demonstrations?

Since ca. 1 year children all over the world started to protest, against the climate politics of many governments all over the world, on fridays instead of going to school. This movement started when the now sixteen year old Swedish girl Greta Thunberg did not go to school to show her dissatisfaction about the climate politics of her country. Hundred thousands joined her to show politicians that they have to do more for the climate to confine global warming. These demonstrations have become known as Fridays for Future (M1).

Greta Thunberg protesting near the Swedish parliament (M2)

But what are the demands of Fridays for Future? Does the Government really recognize the demands of the children protesting for the climate? Will they really try as hard as they can to stop global warming? Which methods will they use to stop global warming?
In my blog I will answer these questions to help you understand the point of view of politicians but also the view of the Fridays for Future organization.

In general the Fridays for Future organization demand to start producing renewable energy instead of fired energy from all countries in the world. The process to close down all coal-fired power stations should only last less than 15 years. After that time energy should only be produced renewable (M3). This aim should be reached for example by a tax on CO2, which is already in force in Sweden since 1991 (M4).

CO2 emissions in Sweden since 1991 (M5)

The tax had an impact, since 1991 the CO2 emissions have decreased with about 26 % until the year 2017.

This tax was discussed in many countries in Europe but it is still only in force in Sweden but with the expanding pressure on the politicians by FFF it may be introduced also in other countries. One can see that FFF is recognized by politicians all over the world and that they influence them in their decisions about climate politics.

The chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel expressed her position on the demonstrations of younger people in an interview. She said: “Ich unterstütze sehr, dass Schülerinnen und Schüler für den Klimaschutz auf die Straße gehen und dafür kämpfen. Ich glaube, dass das eine sehr gute Initiative ist. Wir können unsere Klimaschutzziele nur dann erreichen, wenn wir auch Rückhalt in der Gesellschaft haben“(M6). But also the Italian president Sergio Mattarella and the US- American politician Bernie Sanders, who wanted to become president in 2016, are welcoming the demonstrations for the climate (M1).

But not only politicians appreciate the demonstration. Also scientists and a lot of parents of the young people appreciate the demonstrations because they share the same opinion, that we have to do something to stop climate change.

There are however a lot of polticians who do not welcome the demonstrations of the young people. They also have the opinion that their demands are unobtainable. They argue that many countries need more time to change to renewable energy. The German economics researcher Michael Hüther is very sceptical if the demands of FFF are reachable and appeals to the older children to join a party to reach their aims instead of demonstrating (M9).

Politicians like Christian Lindner and Annegret Kramp Karrenbauer argue that the children are too young to see what is best for the people so they should stop the demonstrations because they have to go to school (M1).

One can see that the Fridays for Future demonstrations receive more and more attention of politicians but only a few really recognize their demands and try to reach them. Polticians like Donald Trump in the USA will not try to reach those demands. For them topics like economy and security are more important than the climate. But also the older generations in every country are interested in other topics than climate. So it will be difficult to make the dreams of FFF come true.