Fossil fuel subsidies are a global problem, all governments must stop providing those
Rebels of Extinction Rebellion protesting on the A12 motorway in Den Haag. (c) Extinction Rebellion Netherlands, More pictures here.
On Saturday October 28, 2023, at 12:00 fifty rebels of Extinction Rebellion Netherlands will join the German climate movement Letzte Generation in blocking the street at the Straße des 17. Juni in Berlin. Together, the two movements demand an end to all fossil fuel subsidies.
Spokesperson Tessel Hofstede from Extinction Rebellion: “We are joining Letzte Generation in their protest in Berlin because fossil fuel subsidies are an international problem. Just like the Dutch government, Germany is investing billions in oil, gas and coal. These irresponsible subsidies have to stop. Every single day over 20.000 children worldwide have to flee their homes due to weather-related disasters. It can not be that Western governments keep exacerbating this crisis. They need to stop fueling fossil destruction and end all fossil fuel subsidies now.”
Protests and goals of Letzte Generation
Since 13th September 2023 supporters of Letzte Generation have again made the German capital Berlin the hotspot of their protests. Street blockades and eye-catching actions like the showering of the Brandenburger Gate in orange paint have been happening almost daily since. The movement seeks to draw attention to the fact that if the government is serious about safeguarding their people from catastrophic climate collapse, a complete phasing out of oil, gas and coal will be necessary by 2030. They call on chancellor Olaf Scholz to be upfront about this towards the German people. Scholz has been very outspoken about serious climate action on the campaign trail but has been catastrophically lacking in action and leadership since he took office in 2021.
Following the lead of the Netherlands, phasing out fossil fuel subsidies is a no-brainer on the road to full phase out of all fossil fuels by 2030.
End fossil fuel subsidies campaign in the Netherlands
After three years of campaigning against fossil fuel subsidies, the Lower House is asking the cabinet to come up with a phase-out path for fossil subsidies. This decision came after 27 days of A12 blockades in a row in September and October, with more than 9.000 arrests in total. As a result, Extinction Rebellion Netherlands has decided to temporarily suspend the A12-blockades. The movement notes that civil disobedience works, but also that thousands of rebels will keep a sharp eye on what’s actually being done. They are ready to take to the streets again if necessary. Action training also continues.
What is Letzte Generation?
The movement “Letzte Generation“ was initiated in 2021 by a small group of activists who organized a hunger strike in front of the Reichstag building in Berlin. They made Olaf Scholz, then newly elected chancellor, meet up with them for a public discussion about the climate catastrophe and the political failure of an adequate response.
Now the movement is organized by several hundred people of all ages who stand up for their rights following the guidelines of peaceful civil disobedience. They emphasize the necessity to transition to an economy without fossil fuels by 2030. Supporters of the movement have been blocking city streets, highways and airports all across Germany. Currently, several hundred people from all over Germany are gathered in Berlin and have announced to continue with their protest till the change — away from fossil fuels, towards an honest and socially balanced climate policy — is made.
What is Extinction Rebellion?
XR is a global civic movement dedicated to preserving life on Earth. Rebels of XR put pressure on governments – with peaceful, creative and disruptive actions – to get them to act on the climate and ecological crisis. Since its founding in 2018, XR has become one of the fastest-growing civil movements in the world. It brings together ordinary people, from all parts of the country and of all ages. In the Netherlands, a large majority is concerned about the lives of current and future generations. We see this trend reflected in our movement; every month more local XR groups are active.
From the underlying demand CLIMATE JUSTICE FOR EVERYONE, XR makes three demands of the government:
- BE HONEST about the climate crisis and ecological disaster threatening our survival. Make people aware of the need for large-scale change.
- ACT NOW to stop biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025. Do this in an equitable manner.
- LET CITIZENS DECIDE on an equitable transition by establishing a citizens’ council to take a leading role in decision-making.