Fridays for Future at the Wuppertal Institute

For the second time the young students of Fridays for Future Wuppertal* as well as other interested people, visited the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. This time, Prof. Dr. Christa Liedtke and Jens Teubler gave a lecture on “Good and sustainable Living”.

The reason for this was the big Friday demo, which took place on the same day. Around 700 participants attended the Wuppertal Fridays for Future movement on 5 April, which received special support after its 1.5-hour protest march: Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke, former president of the Wuppertal Institute and winner of the German Environmental Award, presented the participants with the signed position paper of 22,000 scientists at the Barmer Town Hall, who expressed their solidarity with the movement. One pupil stated after the demonstration that it is a particular concern of the pupils to get in touch with local climate scientists and researchers.

In the afternoon, Prof. Dr. Christa Liedtke and Jens Teubler showed ways towards a more resource-friendly society. Whether in our daily mobility, our nutrition, our shopping and leisure habits or in our homes themselves: Each and every one of us uses resources for daily consumption. Especially in the western industrial nations, the recent “Earth Overshoot Day” reminds us of our high consumption. If all people in the world lived with the same consumption of resources as we do in Germany, we would already need 3 earths for the coverage.

In order to achieve a sustainable lifestyle for all people within our planetary boundaries, we must reduce our footprint by 2050 from an average of 11.5 tons in Germany to about 1 ton of CO2-eq and from an average of 30 tons to 8 tons of natural consumption. This sustainable change requires innovative solutions and sustainable consumption patterns.

In the social media, is also earning much criticism for a supposed double standard: although they would go on the streets with loud slogans for climate protection and compliance with the 1.5° C instead of going to school, they themselves would take advantage of numerous air trips for their own holidays. The young climate activists argue that an individual reduction of CO2 emissions is only possible up to a certain point, that there is a large information deficit and that politics must create the course and framework conditions for a climate-friendly life for each and every individual.

*Fridays for Future is a worldwide protest movement of schoolchildren who are committed to sustainable climate policy and protection. The main initiator is the Swedish pupil Greta Thunberg, who first started a climate strike every Friday during school hours a few months ago. This example has so far been followed by hundreds of thousands of pupils worldwide. The central demands in Germany, in addition to compliance with the Paris Climate Convention, are the phasing out of coal by 2030 and a 100% energy supply from renewable energies by 2035.

The sign on the picture says “You destroy what belongs to all of us”.
* Photos: Wuppertal Institute (Felix Buchborn)