Scientists back pupils' strike for the climate

More than 12,000 scientists have come out in favour of youths demonstrating for climate protection. In a collective statement experts from Germany, Austria and Switzerland say their research shows that the pupils' protests are justified. Commentators discuss what could prompt politicians and consumers to do more to protect the climate.

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El País (ES) /

Waiting is too expensive

Perhaps the politicians must be confronted with naked figures to make them take action, El País proposes:

“The data is indisputable but even though it has been repeated in report after report it has barely made an impact on the governments, trapped as they are in short-term strategies that impede commitment to far-sighted policies. ... The politicians must realise that failure to meet the climate targets will cost lives and be more costly than meeting them in the long term. The Paris agreement, for instance, requires the investment of almost 20 billion euros [worldwide], but the consequences of not adhering to it will increase the cost to almost 48 billion.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

Populists against climate

Also when it comes to fighting climate change Europe is divided, observes La Repubblica's Brussels correspondent Andrea Bonanni:

“The hard core of activism for ecological values revolves around the Franco-German axis. ... East of that hard core, where sovereigntist rights are on the advance, the green movement is stalling. In the south, where the economic crisis continues, environmental issues are having a hard time finding a coherent political platform. Now, however, from France to Poland and from Hungary to Italy the populists seem to have identified the ecological problem as a new public enemy, alongside immigration. Trump's bad example has found willing followers on this side of the Atlantic.”