Climate Radicals

Climate Radicals
Why Our Environmental Politics Isn’t Working

Are radical climate activists hurting the cause?

Germany should have been a global leader in combating climate change­—its voters consider it a major issue and accordingly back the world’s most powerful Green Party. Yet, Germany’s climate policies have been disappointing, with its relatively weak carbon reduction efforts. What happened?

In Climate Radicals, Cameron Abadi profiles the fascinating activists of Letzte Generation, known for gluing themselves to street intersections and throwing food on works of art; Ende Gelande, which demands the immediate phaseout of coal by occupying mines; and the German leaders of the global coalition Fridays for Future, which organizes school strikes (on Fridays) and many other large-scale demonstrations.

Abadi finds that the groups’ uncompromising stances and outrage over narrowly defined policy failures have led them to extreme acts of publicity that feed their sense of urgency, but have alienated most of the German public, who are increasingly withdrawing their support for significant steps forward, contributing to an impasse. The German government even dissolved some binding carbon-emission targets.

In contrast, Joe Biden’s American Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 represents the most significant move toward green energy in US history. The law did not impress groups like Letzte Generation, but Climate Radicals shows that old-fashioned political compromise and incremental progress might be the only way for governments to fight climate change.

Read CGR Director Nicholas Lemann’s Letter to the Reader

Climate Radicals
  • ISBN: 9798987053645
  • Price: $18.00
  • E-book ISBN: 9798987053652
  • On Sale: September 10, 2024

About the author

Cameron Abadi
© Britta Schumacher

Cameron Abadi is a deputy editor at Foreign Policy and co-host of FP’s Ones and Tooze podcast. He previously worked as an editor at the New Republic and Foreign Affairs and as a freelance correspondent in Germany and Iran. His writing has appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek, the New Yorker, the New Republic, and Der Spiegel. He lives with his family in Berlin, Germany.