Climate movement defends members who flew to Bali and skipped trial

Climate activists - Lichtgut
Climate activists - Lichtgut

Germany’s climate movement has been ridiculed for defending two members who flew to Bali instead of turning up in court.

On Monday Yannick and Luisa S, activists from the Letzte Generation group, skipped trial at a Stuttgart court, where they were accused of duress over participating in a road blockade last autumn.

When the judge asked why they had failed to appear, he was informed that they were currently on the Indonesia island of Bali, some 7,000 miles away, Bild newspaper reported.

During their protest, the couple reportedly held up a banner which read “save on oil, don’t drill”.

Letzte Generation defended their actions, saying: “They booked their flights as private people, not as climate activists. One must keep these two things separate.”

According to emissions calculator website, a return flight to Bali generates 4.8 tonnes of CO2, which is over half of the average EU citizen’s carbon emissions in an entire year.

Report leads to mockery

The report led to mockery online in Germany, where critics have long suspected that the young activists fail to live up to the strict standards that they demand of others.

It’s always other people who are to blame. For the activists, flying is bad until they themselves are on the plane to Bali,” Martin Huber, a senior figure in the conservative CSU party, wrote on Twitter.

Torsten Herbst, a parliamentarian for the centrist Free Democrats said it was “striking” that the activists were prepared to compel commuters to stop their journey to work but were happy to jet off on holiday.

The Letzte Generation has employed similar tactics to Just Stop Oil in the UK, with members glueing themselves to busy streets during rush hour, or trespassing onto airport runways.

The organisation targets road traffic due to what they see as the irresponsible emissions caused by people travelling to work by car.

Authorities have long complained that the illegal protests slow down the work of emergency services.

In November, the group was widely condemned after a protest in Berlin held up a crane that was supposed to free a cyclist who had been caught under a lorry and who later died in hospital.