January 18, 2019

Nationwide student strike puts pressure on German coal commission

18th January, Germany: On Friday thousands of students in over 40 German cities will strike under the banner “Fridays for Future” to demand that their government initiates an immediate coal phase-out. Students striking from schools and universities will gather outside the Bundestag, town-halls, state parliaments and in marketplaces to deliver their message one week before the government’s coal commission is due to meet to deliver a proposal for the future of coal in Germany.

Independently organised and coordinated the students, inspired by Greta Thunberg‘s weekly school strike in Sweden and the resulting strike movement of young people worldwide, are calling on decision-makers to deliver climate and energy policies to provide the younger generation with a future worth living for.

“Young people, in particular, must now protest for fair climate policy, since ultimately we will be those who are increasingly suffering from the consequences of the climate crisis. What good does it do us to learn for our later life when adults do not even guarantee us a future? That’s why it’s now time to go out on the streets because the climate does not wait until we graduate.” Linus Steinmetz, a 15-year old student in Göttingen

To date, students from dozens of countries such as Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, the Faroe Islands, Italy, the Netherlands, Nigeria, South Africa, Sweden, Uganda, the UK and the USA have taken part in student strikes in support of ending the use of dangerous fossil fuels, directing finance to scale up solutions, and focusing on a just transition to 100% renewable energy for all.

There are plans for further strike actions in 2019, including a student rally in front of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in Berlin on Friday 25th January, where the coal commission will be meeting, to demand an immediate coal phase-out to meet Germany’s 2020 climate targets.

“The climate crisis calls for immediate and courageous climate protection policies – but we do not see them. It’s a blow to our generation. We must organize ourselves and together demand that coal and other fossil fuels remain in the ground.” Luisa Neubauer a 22-year old student and co-organizer of the strike in Berlin

New research launched this week shows that it is still possible to safeguard the future and keep global warming below the critical threshold of 1.5°C degrees by immediately halting the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure and initiating a rapid phaseout of fossil fuel production and use. This means scrapping plans for projects like the Trans Adriatic Pipeline in southern Europe, the MidCat pipeline in France and Spain, and coal mining in Germany which is already the subject of an international petition demanding its closure.

“Since I was a child I’ve heard what the consequences of man-made climate change will be, and yet no one acts consistently. Politicians must act now and immediately initiate a coal exit. That’s more important for my future than a good high school diploma.” Jakob Blasel, an 18-year old student and co-organizer of the strike in Kiel


Linus Steinmetz: student spokesman from Göttingen

Tel: +49 176 47769929



Luisa Neubauer: student and organizer of the Berlin strikes

Tel: +49 17649275525



Jakob Blasel: student from Kiel

Tel: +49 1573 3917625



Note to editors

Fridays for Future website

You will be able to follow live updates from the student rallies via:

Note: The actions are organized by pupils and students. 350.org is not co-organiser but is helping the students to share their message.