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UK: Save the Earth

Manchester (AB) – When it comes to green promises, Boris Johnson is now happily upside down. The Prime Minister wants to emphasize that the offshore wind farms on the British coast should make his country “Saudi Arabia’s wind power”.

In a few weeks, Johnson wants to present his country as a climate protection pioneer at the World Climate Conference in Glasgow. His voice sounds different when talking about people who really want the same thing.

In an interview with the LBC on Tuesday, the broadcaster “irresponsible circumstances” (original: “irresponsible crosses”) Johnson called on activists of the Insulate Britain group, which has been naming itself after weeks of protests. British Insulate representatives, who have quietly taken Johnson’s words, are calling for comprehensive thermal insulation of homes in Great Britain – a major weakness in British climate policy so far. The strategy for climate-friendly buildings is still a long way off.

Patel has been called “the so-called environmental warriors.”

Compared to his Home Secretary, Johnson chose more innocuous words. At the Conservative Party conference in Manchester on Tuesday, Priti Patel spoke of “environmental warriors who trample on our way of life and waste police resources.” The reason: Insulated Britain is repeatedly blocking traffic by its actions. Activists either got stuck in the lanes of London Ring Road or blocked the entrance to Dover Harbor. Even after the courts had already issued a restraining order against the panel. Opponents can go to jail.

So now even harder margin. Although Patel already tightened his thumbs last year and gave more power to the police in demonstrations, their zero tolerance policy for violations now goes a few steps further: the maximum fine for blocking important traffic axes such as highways will be increased. Feast among friends. In addition, new powers will be given to the police and the courts to stop activists traveling across the country to protest.

The groups relied heavily on resistance

Whether their concerns would be useful in legitimizing an ambitious climate policy that the Johnson government at least wanted to do is not yet a powerful argument in London government circles. However, the UK also faces less with groups like Future for Fridays, whose worst offense is not usually going to school on Fridays. There are more groups like Insulated Britain or the Destructive Rebellion, whose strategy focuses more on resistance, siege and awareness.

A joint press conference with those taking to the streets for the weather, as President Angela Merkel (CDU) gave on Friday for last year’s future activists Greta Dunberg and Louisa Newfire, seems unimaginable on Downing Street. It remains to be seen whether the hundreds of thousands expected to demonstrate around the climate conference in Glasgow will change that.