Past Actions

Scientist Rebellion Germany did their first action in March 2021. Since then we have done paper pastings, road blockades, teach-ins, performative actions, occupations and whistle blowing.

Hence, the actions listed here are just examples.

April 2024 - Disruption of speech by Christian Lindner

"The FDP destroyed" - Scientists disrupt Christian Lindner at event in Essen

Picture: Lars Heidrich / FUNKE Foto Services; 

Essen, 04.04.2024. On Thursday afternoon, four members of Scientist Rebellion interrupted a citizens’ dialogue with Federal Minister of Finance Christian Lindner at the Colosseum Theater in Essen. With loud statements and banners, the scientists accused the minister and FDP party leader of blocking climate and environmental protection with his policies and thus endangering human lives.

Individual members of Scientist Rebellion were denied entry at the entrance despite confirmed registration. “Presumably a background check was carried out on people perceived as ‘suspicious’. Apparently, the ministry does not want overly critical questions to be asked,” says Luis Pauly from Scientist Rebellion.

“If you finally start making policy and not just blocking and destroying, then we won’t have to disturb you any more,” said the scientists, explaining their action and confronting Lindner with the fact that the FDP-led Federal Ministry of Transport is failing to meet the sector targets set by the federal government to comply with the Climate Protection Act.

Banners held aloft by participants in the action read, among other things, “Science is not heard, the FDP destroys”. Another banner read “The freedom of the privileged creates the misery of the poor”.

“While millions of people around the world are already suffering from the consequences of rising temperatures, the FDP continues to pursue patronage policies for reckless high earners and dreams of fantasy technologies that will one day save us,” says Prof Niko Froitzheim, member of Scientist Rebellion.

Last week, the German Advisory Council on the Environment stated in a short paper that Germany has already used up its fair share of the CO2 budget to ensure compliance with the 1.5-degree limit.

March 2024 - mass blockade against fossil subsidies

Stop adding fuel to the fire: End fossil subsidies​

💰 Every year, the German government spends billions of euros of taxpayers money in tax breaks and subventions to industries and activities that aggravate the climate crisis. Recent studies estimated that at least 48 billion euros are directed to the fossil sectors, with the biggest beneficiary being aviation, and 65 billion euros to environmentally damaging sectors more generally.

🌱 Fossil subsidies artificially cheapen climate-damaging modes of transportation and production, leading to further escalation of the climate crisis, and withhold the funds that could enable a faster and fairer transition.

 The German government has been repetitively promising to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. The first promise was made at the G7 in 2009, and has been repeated nearly every year, on the international stage and at home. The climate crisis requires urgent, concrete action, no empty promises. 

January 2024 - disruption of speech by Mona Neubaur

Lützerath was senselessly destroyed

Scientists interrupt lecture by Mona Neubaur

Cologne, 22.01.2024. At around 6:30 p.m., 12 members of Scientist Rebellion interrupted the lecture “Transformation and energy transition in the industrial state of North Rhine-Westphalia” by Mona Neubaur, North Rhine-Westphalia’s Minister for Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Protection and Energy, at the University of Cologne. The scientists confronted Ms. Neubaur with her current energy transition policy and the delayed transformation process. They held up a banner with the inscription “Lützerath was senselessly destroyed, Ms. Neubaur”.

The scientists were able to make their points without being interrupted or driven away. Another group in the audience held up letters that formed the words “STOP RWE” and “END COAL” during Mona Neubaur’s presentation. Ms. Neubaur had to talk about Lützerath again.

The current policy in NRW is preventing the phase-out of fossil fuels and compliance with the 1.5C° limit of the Paris Agreement. There is a lack of democratic participatory processes to change policy in NRW so that no one is left behind. A striking example of this policy failure is the decision to evacuate and destroy the village of Lützerath for the expansion of the Garzweiler II opencast mine. This decision makes it impossible to comply with the 1.5C° limit of the Paris Agreement for Germany and fails to involve civil society in the process.

“If green transformation policy can only present supposed lighthouse projects of the green economy, but fossil energy production is not radically reduced and the population is not actively involved in the structural change, then the transformation will not succeed,” says Vera Huwe from the University of Duisburg-Essen.

“RWE has systematically tried to destroy the Rhenish mining area over many years. And the people in the Garzweiler villages are once again having to watch as structural change in the Rhenish mining area is once again determined by RWE’s hegemonic interests.” adds Bernhard Seidler, doctor at the University Hospital of Cologne.


Scientist Rebellion is an international movement of scientists and academics from more than 32 countries. They are united by the realization that research, publications, lectures and policy advice are not enough to bring their findings into politics and society. This is why they resort to peaceful means of civil disobedience and resistance. The Climate Emergency Fund supports the mobilization, training, structure building and educational work of Scientist Rebellion.

Further information

The presentation by Mona Neubaur:

– The current policy in NRW is preventing the phase-out of fossil fuels and compliance with the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement:

In the global context, “staying below 1.5 °C requires that no new fossil fuel extraction licenses be issued and also that a significant proportion of the reserves already tapped must be decommissioned prematurely” Trout et al. 2022. The generation of electricity from coal under Lützerath contradicts Germany’s 1.5°C-compatible residual CO2 budget.

– Coal exit study:

From a climate protection perspective and as also announced in the motion for a resolution on the EKBG, a stronger curtailment of coal-fired power generation is necessary from 2025 in order to compensate for the emissions caused by the increased capacity utilization of the power plants in the years 2022 to 2024. The short-term gas shortage and the associated possible reactivation of lignite-fired power plants in the newly formed supply reserve if necessary (German Substitute Power Plant Provision Act, EKBG) will increase the expected capacity utilization of lignite-fired power plants this year and in the coming years.

From the beginning of 2022 until the end of coal-fired power generation in 2030, this maximum utilization scenario shows a total demand of 271 million tonnes of lignite, compared to a coal reserve of approx. 301 million tonnes. This results in a surplus of around 30 million tons of lignite, which would remain in the already approved area of the Hambach and Garzweiler II opencast mining complex if Lützerath is retained.

This study therefore proves that there is neither an energy industry necessity for the use of further villages and farms at the Garzweiler II opencast mine nor an energy industry justification for the approval of new mining areas beyond the area of the current main operating plan.

December 2023 - COP28 is the conference of broken promises

Stop adding fuel to the fire: End fossil subsidies​

Scientist Rebellion groups worldwide executed actions of nonviolent civil disobedience against the fossil madness that COP28 is part of. 

In Berlin, we used our actions to demand an end to fossil subsidies. 

Fossil subsidies are one of the worst examples of repetitively failed climate promises. Since 2009, German governments have repetitively pledged to phase out fossil or environmentally damaging subsidies: at G7 meetings, in the final declarations of the last two COPs, and in the latest coalition agreement. Despite this, Germany still spends 65 billions of euros of tax money in environmentally harmful subsidies each year, and the current government has little concrete plans for a phase out.

We also placed focus on the legal system that has to step up to its responsibility, especially due to politics’ failure to act responsibly as shown again by the COP conferences.

Press Release
Follow the money: Scientist Rebellion carries sacks full of taxpayers’ money to fossil fuel company Wintershall

Berlin, 01.12.2023. Activists from Scientist Rebellion carried out a symbolic action in front of Wintershall Dea GmbH in Neustädtische Kirchstraße at around 9:30 this morning. From the Reichstag building, 9 people moved across the Reichstag embankment to the offices of the fossil fuel company. Some of them were disguised with masks as Olaf Scholz, Christian Lindner, Volker Wissing and Robert Habeck and carried sacks full of money. They were followed by Scientist Rebellion members in lab coats carrying a placard that read: “€65 billion per year – with this tax money we pay for environmental destruction and unchecked greenhouse gas emissions”. In the presence of the police, the scientists gave speeches and pointed out Wintershall’s financial ties with the Federal Republic of Germany.

Subsidies for fossil fuels are one of the most serious examples of repeatedly failed climate promises. Since 2009, German governments have repeatedly promised to reduce fossil or environmentally harmful subsidies. Despite this, around 65 billion euros of taxpayers’ money continues to be spent on this every year.

“Germany must now get serious about ending the fossil age – not just nod in international negotiations and then continue to subsidize the fossil industry at home. The time for empty declarations of intent has long since passed,” says Daniele Artico, physicist at Humboldt University Berlin.

“We are calling on the German government to formulate a concrete plan for phasing out climate-damaging subsidies by 2025, as it has promised to do. As scientists, we have a responsibility to criticize the existing power structures that are criminally obstructing the path to sustainability,” explains Dr. Nicolas Roy, mathematician and physicist.

Scientist Rebellion is holding several actions in Berlin between December 1 and 4 to mark the COP28 Climate Change Conference.

Press release
How many more empty promises? – Scientist Rebellion pastes Ministry of Transport with political promises to cut fossil fuel subsidies

Berlin, 02.12.2023. At around 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, the “Scientists’ march against fossil subsidies” organized by Scientist Rebellion started in Luisenstraße, with around 100 academics taking part. They protested against the numerous fossil fuel subsidies that are further fueling the climate crisis in Germany. The demonstration proceeded along Reinhardt-, Friedrich- and Hannoversche Straße in the direction of Invalidenpark. At around 15:45, as the demonstration approached the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Affairs, an independent group of 6 Scientist Rebellion members pasted large-format printouts of the political declarations made so far on the abolition of fossil subsidies to the outside walls of the building on Invalidenstraße.

“Although this is already the 28th COP, global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. And so the dangerous weather extremes are increasing, as are the number of ignored scientific warnings and empty promises by the German government. Since 2009, Germany has repeatedly declared, including at the world climate conferences, that we will reduce environmentally harmful subsidies. What has happened? Nothing!” adds Dr. Nicolas Roy, mathematician.

In Germany, the transportation sector receives the largest amount of fossil fuel subsidies. These include the diesel and company car privilege as well as the commuter allowance and the massive tax breaks for air traffic. While scientists have been warning of the dramatic consequences of the climate crisis for humanity and the biosphere for decades, neither the previous German governments nor the current traffic light government have managed to reduce the numerous fossil fuel subsidies. Just as the scientific warnings have been repeated in an endless loop for decades, excerpts from speeches in which scientists warn of the consequences of the climate crisis were played continuously at the demonstration.

“While politicians and oil bosses are formulating empty promises at COP28, we want to give the voice of science more weight with the scientists’ demo against fossil subsidies. Science is fatally often ignored,” emphasizes Dr. Lorenzo Perrone, astrophysicist.

Scientist Rebellion is organizing actions in Berlin on the occasion of COP28 between December 1 and 4, 2023.

Community building.

Press release
The judiciary must live up to its responsibility in the climate crisis

Berlin, 04.12.2023. At around 1 p.m. today, six members of Scientist Rebellion pasted papers to the walls of the district court on Turmstraße in Berlin. Dressed in lab coats, the scientists pasted large-format articles about the consequences of the climate and biodiversity crisis and the role of civil disobedience in the climate emergency on the outside walls of the building. They also spilled fake blood in front of the entrance and held statements by judges from climate activist court cases in their hands. With this action, they are pointing out that the German judiciary’s failure to take responsibility in the climate crisis has real consequences for the well-being of humanity.

“This is now the 28th World Climate Conference and greenhouse gas emissions are still rising. Politicians are not living up to their responsibility to protect our livelihoods. This places even more responsibility on the judiciary. It should enforce the right to life and integrity enshrined in our constitution, also in the future,” explains Dr. Nicolas Roy, mathematician, with reference to Article 20a.

Time and again, climate activists’ expert witnesses who could contribute their expertise on the dangers of the climate and biodiversity crisis are rejected by judges during court hearings. The statements that the judges subsequently make when passing judgment often indicate that the urgency and danger of the crises has not been understood or that the judiciary is biased towards civil disobedience actions. However, as has been published in a legal journal, the climate emergency can justify these actions due to the emergency clause of the German Criminal Code (§34 StGB). The courts have not yet seriously considered this argument, as it would be too time-consuming and would suggest far-reaching decisions.

“We need legal diligence when making judgments on climate action. All disciplines dealing with the scientific, health and psychological consequences of the climate and biodiversity crisis are talking about an emergency. Only the judiciary does not recognize this. So how can it help to protect us? Judges should judge independently – regardless of popular opinions and always with a view to the reality of measurable facts,” emphasizes Dr. Lorenzo Perrone, astrophysicist.

Scientist Rebellion will be holding actions in Berlin between December 1 and 4, 2023 on the occasion of COP28 to draw attention to the danger posed by the escalating climate and biodiversity crisis. They are accepting the legal consequences of their action to show that the threat is real.

September 2023

Paper pasting at the GeoBerlin Conference, Free University, Berlin.

(picture credits: Stefan Müller, more pictures here)

July 2023

Blindfolding Statues in different cities

(picture credits: Stefan Müller)
QR code pointing here

June 2023

Statement at the Tag der Industrie, Berlin

(picture credits: Stefan Müller)

May 2023

Demonstrating at the Volkswagen General Assembly, Berlin.

April 2023

Street blockade in solidarity with Letzte Generation, Berlin

December 2022

Paper pasting in Solidarity with Lützerath, Düsseldorf.

November 2022

Airport blockade to ban private jets, Berlin.

See article in the Tagesspiegel.

(more pictures here)

October 2022

Throwing fake blood on the stairs of the Ministry for Transportation, Berlin.

(picture credits: Stefan Müller, more pictures)

October 2022

Blockade at the inauguration of the World Health Summit, Berlin.

(picture credits: Stefan Müller, more pictures)

April 2022

Blockade of the Untermainbrücke, Frankfurt/Main.

April 2022

Blockade at the Kronprinzenbrücke, Berlin.

(picture credits: Stefan Müller, more pictures)

April 2022

Throwing fake oil and paper pasting at the Ministry for Transportation, Berlin.

(picture credits: Stefan Müller, more pictures)