Related Topics

  • German federal election 2021

image source, Reutersimage captionGreta Thunberg told the rally in Berlin that no party was doing enough

Climate change activists are rallying in cities around Germany ahead of federal elections on Sunday.

"No political party is doing enough," Swedish campaigner Greta Thunberg told a gathering of thousands in Berlin.

The activists are calling for Germany to do more to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees C and to end the use of coal for power generation by 2030, instead of 2038.

Climate change has been a central theme in the election campaign.

In July, record floods swept western Germany, killing more than 180 people. However, this failed to translate into greater support for the Green Party, which is running third in opinion polls, at about 15%.

The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) are in the lead, on about 25%, with the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel trailing on about 22%.

Activists from the "Fridays for the Future" campaign staged protests in about 470 German towns and cities on Friday.

Germany signed up to the targets of the 2015 Paris accord, pledging to limit warming to a maximum of 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels. However, it has consistently fallen short of its own targets.

  • How Germany's Merkel shaped a generation
  • Simple guide to German election ending Merkel era

In April, Germany's highest court ruled that its climate change laws were insufficient and violated fundamental freedoms by putting the burden of curbing CO2 emissions on the young.

"It is clearer than ever that no political party is doing close to enough. But it's even worse than that. Not even their proposed commitments are close to being in line with what would be needed to fulfil the Paris agreement," Ms Thunberg said on Friday.

Voting was essential, but not enough, she said, as she urged the crowd of about 100,000 to be "active citizens" and go out on the streets.

media captionAction to tackle climate change needs to be just and fair, says German campaigner Luisa Neubauer.