Environmental Activists Glue Themselves to Roadway in Berlin

Environmental Activists Glue Themselves to Roadway in Berlin

The group aims to bring attention to the environmental impacts of food waste.

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Climate activists block the exit of the Berlin city highway A100 not far from the ICC with the slogan "Save food". The mood of the blocked motorists was said to be partly aggressive. A video circulated on Twitter of shouting men trying to pull protesters off the road. The activists are demanding a law against food waste and an agricultural turnaround to reduce greenhouse gases from agriculture
Photo: Paul Zinken/picture alliance (Getty Images)

Protestors in Berlin, Germany glued themselves to a main roadway Monday morning, demanding legislation against food waste and cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural industry. Their protest caused major traffic jams in the capital and followed actions held throughout Germany last week. More than 20 activists organized by the group “Last Generation” took part in the protest, and several glued themselves to the road, Reuters reported. Photos of the event showed a standoff between protestors and vehicles.

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Protests across Germany

Protests across Germany

Police officers observe climate activists blocking the exit of the Berlin city highway A100 not far from the ICC with the slogan "Save food". The mood of the blocked motorists is said to have been partly aggressive. A video circulated on Twitter of shouting men trying to pull protesters off the road. The activists are demanding a law against food waste and an agricultural turnaround to reduce greenhouse gases from agriculture
Photo: Paul Zinken/picture alliance (Getty Images)

Letzte Generation, or “Last Generation,” the organizers of the event, placed food that had been discarded along the A100 roadway as part of their protest. According to a statement from the activist group, there are more protests planned throughout Germany.

After several food waste protests that occurred last week, there were more than 50 activists in custody, Reuters reported.

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Food-saving law

Food-saving law

Police officers observe climate activists blocking the exit of the Berlin city highway A100 not far from the ICC with the slogan "Save food". The mood of the blocked motorists is said to have been partly aggressive. A video circulated on Twitter of shouting men trying to pull protesters off the road. The activists are demanding a law against food waste and an agricultural turnaround to reduce greenhouse gases from agriculture.
Photo: Paul Zinken/picture alliance (Getty Images)

The food-saving law that Last Generation is advocating for includes mandating that large supermarket chains “make available food that is still edible” instead of throwing it away. The group says the German government is not taking enough action to stop food waste, lower emissions, and protect future generations.

“By 2030, we will exceed 1.5 degrees (average rise in global temperatures). The government is not only breaking international law but committing a crime against humanity by deliberately heading for a world hotter by 2, 3, 4 degrees with billions dying of hunger,” Carla Hindrichs, one of the Last Generation activists, said in a statement provided to Reuters.

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Social media backlash

Social media backlash

Berlin: Climate activists block the exit of Berlin's A100 city highway not far from the ICC with the slogan "Save food." The activists are calling for a law against food waste and an agricultural turnaround to reduce greenhouse gases from agriculture.
Photo: Paul Zinken/picture alliance (Getty Images)

Hindrichs tweeted in German on Monday, “#A100 becomes the place of civil #resistance! We appeal to the government: issue a #foodsavinglaw and end this disruption! #doyourjob.” Other tweets from protestors and bystanders include videos of protestors sitting on the road and then being dragged by angry motorists trying to stop the blockade.

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Food waste worldwide

Food waste worldwide

Climate activists block the exit of the Berlin city highway A100 not far from the ICC with the slogan "Save food". The mood of the blocked motorists was said to be partly aggressive. A video circulated on Twitter of shouting men trying to pull protesters off the road. The activists are demanding a law against food waste and an agricultural turnaround to reduce greenhouse gases from agriculture.
Photo: Paul Zinken/picture alliance (Getty Images)

Food waste accounts for about 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. An estimated billion tons of food, which is almost 20% of all food, is discarded yearly, while some 820 million people go hungry.

Food waste is also a waste of energy. Consider the fuel and water used to grow and harvest crops, transport those crops, and then process and package those crops as food items. When the unused food is thrown away to rot, it produces methane, a greenhouse gas that is 80 times more planet-warming than carbon.

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2021 hunger strikes for climate

2021 hunger strikes for climate

Henning, one of the two remaining participants of the "Last Generation Hunger Strike", announces at a press conference that he is going on a dry hunger strike with immediate effect. He demands that SPD chancellor candidate Scholz declare a climate emergency.
Photo: Jörg Carstensen/picture alliance (Getty Images)

These recent protests are not the first major actions organized by Last Generation. In 2021, the group staged a hunger strike to call for better climate action from Germany’s politicians.

“We are quite simply in despair, otherwise we wouldn’t be doing this,” said protestor Lina Eichler in September 2021, according to The Guardian. “But what we’re doing here is not nearly as bad as what we can expect to befall us if we don’t act now.”

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