More than 60 scientists (including 10 Spaniards) set fire alarms ringing by disrupting the opening session of the World Health Summit in Berlin, Germany.
40 scientists from all over Europe blocked the entrance to the conference building, gluing themselves to the floor with superglue. Members of academia dressed in lab coats glued scientific publications on the climate crisis to the entrance.
German Chancellor Scholz opened the conference ceremony and his speech was interrupted several times by a fire alarm in the building set off by the scientists.
Scientists from Scientist Rebellion caused a major disruption with their protest at the opening of the World Health Summit in Berlin on Sunday evening.
At around 18:30, 40 scientists from all over Europe (including 10 Spaniards) blocked the entrance to the conference building, 7 of them superglued themselves to the floor. Another 20 members of academia dressed in lab coats stuck scientific publications on the climate crisis at the entrance and held up banners saying “CLIMATE CRISIS = HEALTH CRISIS”, “1.5°C = Political Fiction” and “Unite Against Climate Failure”.
They were accompanied by 10 activists from the group “Letzte Generation” (Last Generation), who also glued themselves to the ground in front of the entrance. German Chancellor Scholz opened the conference ceremony and his speech was interrupted several times by a fire alarm in the building, triggered by the scientists. “The way to improve our conversations is simply to continue not listening,” he said, referring to the sound of the alarm, and highlighting how warnings from the scientific community are being ignored.
“There is no plausible way to stay below 1.5 degrees and meet the Paris Agreement within our current economic system. Politicians need to be honest and stop misleading the public. In fact, it is very likely that we will exceed 1.5 degrees of global warming in the next ten years. This means immense suffering, especially in the Global South, but also here in Europe. It is high time to drastically change course,” says Dr. Matthias Schmelzer of the Institute of Sociology at the University of Jena (Germany).
With their peaceful but disruptive protests, scientists want to make clear to society the harsh physical and ecological reality as opposed to political fiction. There is a real possibility of a global catastrophe and with civil resistance actions, Science Rebellion demands immediate action to limit the growing impacts of the climate crisis, both nationally and internationally.
“The climate crisis is the greatest threat to human health in the 21st century, according to the World Health Organization. Extreme weather events, such as heat waves, torrential rains and floods, as well as increased air pollution, have the potential to cause massive damage to health. The German government must urgently implement safety measures. Those in power must act now,” says Dr Susanne Koch, associate professor at the Charité, University Clinic Berlin.
Germany is a powerful country in the EU and one of the richest in the world. The German economy has benefited disproportionately from the use of fossil fuels and the exploitation of natural resources. Despite its great wealth and innovative power, Germany is failing to meet its climate and biodiversity targets, according to scientists.
“More than 70 years ago, Germany completely rebuilt and reimagined itself, and later became an international role model for renewable energy leadership. It still sees itself as a climate champion, although the reality is now very different. Why does Germany continue to delay the necessary transformational change? We appeal to its positive spirit of the past, which could again bring about enormous change. It is urgently needed to limit climate and ecological collapse,” adds Dr Odin Marc, Earth scientist at the University of Toulouse (France).