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German climate activists disrupt Scholz speech

October 17, 2022

Protesters said they set off a fire alarm to highlight the German government's failure to address global warming. At the time, Chancellor Olaf Scholz was addressing officials attending the World Health Summit in Berlin.

Police walks woman away from the protest site, with banner showing Unite Against Climate Future
Climate groups have been demanding concrete actions from their governments ahead of COP27Image: Carsten Koall/dpa/picture alliance

Scientist Rebellion said they disrupted Chancellor Olaf Scholz's speech by setting off the fire alarm at the World Health Summit in Berlin on Sunday to "draw attention to the climate failure of the German government."

Members of the environmentalist group said they demand the German government admit to failure in keeping temperatures below the 1.5C mark, to cancel financial debt for the Global South in the name of climate justice and decarbonize transport.

As events unfolded in the midst of his speech, Scholz said: "So we're discussing pressing issues. Someone pressed the fire alarm. And not really supporting our debate."

"Over here they are doing some protests about climate and things like that," Scholz said, referring to protesters who had gathered in front of the hotel where the health summit was taking place.

Protesters were demanding action on climate change, with some of them even glueing their hands to the ground in front of the hotel.

Officials turned off the fire alarm shortly after it rang out, allowing the health conference to continue.

Latest in a string of climate protests

Climate protesters have ramped up protests across cities as world leaders prepare to gather for the United Nation's conference on climate change in Egypt, which is officially known as the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties or COP27.

On Sunday, members from the British climate activist group, Just Stop Oil, sprayed paint at an Aston Martin showroom and blocked roads in central London.

On Friday, Just Stop Oil activists also threw tomato soup over Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers" painting at the National Gallery in London.

DPA news agency contributed to the report.

Edited by: John Silk

Roshni Majumdar Roshni is a writer at DW's online breaking news desk and covers stories from around the world.@RoshniMaj