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.
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.
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.
Photos and videos of the action for free use: here
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.
We invite you to action trainings and a relaxing time together.
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.