Quantcast

25K Climate Protestors Disrupt Frankfurt Motor Show

Climate
At the International Motor Show (IAA), climate protestors are calling for a change in transportation politics. © Kevin McElvaney / Greenpeace

Thousands of protestors marched in front of Frankfurt's International Motor Show (IAA) on Saturday to show their disgust with the auto industry's role in the climate crisis. The protestors demanded an end to combustion engines and a shift to more environmentally friendly emissions-free vehicles, as Reuters reported.


Hundreds donned white hazmat suits and blocked the entrance to the show while holding up placards that said "Disempower car companies," "STOP SUV," "SUV not cool" and "we can't replace our lungs," as CNN reported.

In addition to the protestors blocking the entrance, police estimated that nearly 15,000 cyclists joined a peaceful march. Organizers estimate the total number of people taking part in the demonstration was 25,000 with 18,000 cyclists descending on the city, according to Reuters.

"We're taking a clear stand against the destructive transport system for which the world's largest motor show still stands," the organizers said, as News Corp Australia reported.

The demonstrators campaigned for car-free cities, free public transportation, and an increase in cycle paths.

"A real change towards climate-friendly transport is not compatible with the profit interests of the car lobby," said organizers, according to News Corp Australia.

The organizers were disappointed by the trends they saw at the IAA.

"Just under three-quarters of the 50 new cars displayed (at IAA) continue to use environmentally damaging diesel and petrol," said Greenpeace in a statement in support of the IAA protests, according to according to Deutsche Welle.

However, they were thrilled with the turnout, as the cyclists brought traffic to a crawl on several major motorways as they made their way to the IAA protest, as Deutsche Welle reported.

The number of people, "willing to take part in a civil disobedience campaign and put their bodies in the way of the powerful auto industry" had exceeded their expectations, said Marie Klee, a spokeswoman for the climate action group Sand in the Gearbox, as CNN reported. "An IAA in this form will most certainly not exist anymore. The days when VW, Daimler and BMW and co. celebrated their destructive tin cans without any interruption are over," she said.

For their part, Germany's big three, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler, and BMW, operate under the assumption that in 10 years about half of their cars will be emissions-free, according to Reuters.

However, Volkswagen's diesel emissions scandal from four years ago, in which the automaker admitted to cheating emissions tests, has created distrust amongst the public. Environmentalists have criticized automakers for shirking their environmental responsibilities and dragging their feet on a transition to emissions-free vehicles, according to News Corp Australia.

Greenpeace noted that the automakers have outsized responsibility to respond to the climate crisis, especially since a report last week found that cars from Germany's big three produced more CO2 emissions in 2018 than the country itself produced, as Deutsche Welle reported.

The Greenpeace report, Crashing the Climate: How The Car Industry is Driving the Climate Crisis, calls for an end of all sales of diesel and gas powered cars by 2028 — a target the auto-industry does not find realistic.

Marion Tiemann, a Greenpeace transportation expert, warned that Chancellor Angela Merkel could "no longer sit by and watch as car executives put on green crowns, while continuing to develop and sell climate-damaging diesel and petrol vehicles," as CNN reported.

Merkel did open the IAA show on Thursday. While she did not say any new regulation is coming down the pike, she offered a warning about the climate crisis and asked the automakers to prioritize producing more affordable and sustainable electric vehicles.

"High mobility will have its price, if more efficient, climate-friendly vehicles are not manufactured," she said, as CNN reported.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A mural in Richwood, West Virginia, a once booming Appalachia coal town, honors the community's history. Jeff Greenberg / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

By Jeff Turrentine

The coal industry is dying. But we can't allow the communities that have been dependent on coal to die along with it.

Read More Show Less
ThitareeSarmkasat / iStock / Getty Images

by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

Every fruit lover has their go-to favorites. Bananas, apples, and melons are popular choices worldwide and can be purchased almost anywhere.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
belchonock / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Hrefna Palsdottir, MS

Coconut oil is an incredibly healthy fat.

Read More Show Less
Wesley Martinez Da Costa / EyeEm / Getty Images

By David R. Montgomery

Would it sound too good to be true if I was to say that there was a simple, profitable and underused agricultural method to help feed everybody, cool the planet, and revitalize rural America? I used to think so, until I started visiting farmers who are restoring fertility to their land, stashing a lot of carbon in their soil, and returning healthy profitability to family farms. Now I've come to see how restoring soil health would prove as good for farmers and rural economies as it would for the environment.

Read More Show Less
skaman306 / Moment / Getty Images

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

Radish (Raphanus sativus) is a cruciferous vegetable that originated in Asia and Europe (1Trusted Source).

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Tinnakorn Jorruang / iStock / Getty Images

By Dan Nosowitz

The budding research on cannabidiol, or CBD, attracts a great deal of interest in the agricultural field.

Read More Show Less
Oksana Khodakovskaia / iStock / Getty Images

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

The loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) is a tree native to China that's prized for its sweet, citrus-like fruit.

Read More Show Less

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released new numbers that show vaping-related lung illnesses are continuing to grow across the country, as the number of fatalities has climbed to 33 and hospitalizations have reached 1,479 cases, according to a CDC update.

Read More Show Less