Thousands stage climate protests across Germany

BERLIN - Tens of thousands of people rallied in cities across Germany on Friday at climate protests urging Chancellor Olaf Scholz's government to do more for environmental protection.

Bearing posters with slogans like "System change -- not climate change" or "I'd be in school if the planet was cool", around 12,000 people marched in Berlin alone in a demonstration organised by the Fridays for Future movement.

Huge crowds reaching 10,000 also turned up in major cities including Hamburg and Munich. 

Once a regular event for students holding "school strikes", the Friday rallies have become less frequent in Germany lately, with some climate activists turning instead to more radical modes of protests, such as holding sit-ins at busy road junctions or on highways.

Paul Guenther, 19, said he had turned up at the Berlin rally to condemn "the dishonesty of our chancellor with regard to the climate crisis".

"A council of experts had calculated that the government's targets are too weak and even then, they can't even meet them with what they're doing," the geography university student said.

Retiree Birgit Martens, 65, also noted that the government "is not doing enough to meet its own climate targets".

"Our planet is under threat and the government is not taking enough action against the current climate crisis," said Josephine Paeder, 38, who works in the public transport sector. 

Germany has set a goal of becoming climate neutral by 2045, with emissions to be slashed by 65 percent compared to 1990 levels by 2030.

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