BERLIN: Environmental activists blocked dozens of streets in Berlin today to protest Germany’s climate policy, causing widespread transport disruption in the capital.
“We no longer accept that the government has no plan to stop the destruction of the basis of our existence,” Carla Rochel, a spokeswoman for Last Generation, the leading group behind the protests, said in a statement.
Campaigners halted traffic across the city by gluing themselves to the street surface, including on the busy motorway A100.
“Some 33 points” were blocked at 9am local time (0700 GMT), a spokesperson for the Berlin police told AFP.
Around 500 officers had been deployed to tackle the protests which began around 7.30am, the spokesperson added.
Activists had “massively expanded” their protests this morning, which began on a smaller scale last week, Berlin’s transport information said on Twitter.
“Traffic jams expected!”, the agency warned commuters, with the city’s metro system also suffering delays.
The street blockages were “not productive”, Britta Hasselmann, the Green party’s leader in parliament, told broadcaster ARD.
The Greens, part of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s ruling coalition, have come into conflict with some environmental activists who say they have neglected climate targets.
The party was doing “what it can do” within the coalition, Hasselmann said, adding that the government was Germany’s most environmentally ambitious in years.
Last Generation has signalled its intention to continue with the blockades over the coming days.
“We’re bringing the city to a standstill so the government moves,” Last Generation activist Raphael Thelen said in a video posted on Twitter.