Greenpeace’s official advertisement (there are videos, photos, messages on Twitter, and even a press release) is fairly quiet and talks about “around 1,500 Volkswagen Group car keys with borrowed combustion engines”. For the police, the measure last Wednesday by dozens of environmental movement activists was framed instead as aggravated theft and violation of private property because the hijacking (albeit temporary, at least according to Greenpeace) led to the access to Emden the Great. Overlooking the North Sea. A very non-symbolic demonstration took place regarding two actions: the first took place in the northern part of Germany with the “temporary assembly” of the keys, and the second, on Friday, in the southern part, at Zugspitze (about 3000 meters above sea level), near the border with Austria. , The highest mountain in the country.
There was also a banner of about 100 square meters with the inscription “Von wegen Klimaschutz” (Other than protecting the environment) was displayed. The keys were already seized by the police who reached the top with snowmobiles and made the writing disappear as well.
There was nothing accidental in the process: “A key moment for the climate” was the motto that revived the initiative. Greenpeace is urging a faster farewell to combustion engines. The organization had already taken several actions against the group: one at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011, when a huge banner criticizing the emissions of compact was displayed! The other, in November 2015, after the diesel gate at the entrance to the Wolfsburg headquarters. Activists chose Emden because even in the year of the pandemic, 2020, 735,000 cars from the group loaded into the city’s port and destined for export would have caused CO2 emissions of around 42 million tons, equivalent to the total of the whole of Switzerland, which has a population of up to 46 million. Greenpeace noted that despite the environmental shift, Volkswagen Group production is still 90% linked to combustion engines: Last year, the organization confirmed, only 2.5% of models sold were truly electric. “Volkswagen – said Benjamin Stefan, a mobility expert at Greenpeace – is still one of the most environmentally damaging companies in the world.”
Unexplained theft risks lead to a one or two week delay in delivery and can also result in the exchange of blocks with potential costs approaching 1,000 euros per device. The response of the group, which undoubtedly had something to forgive, was rather “understanding.” Ralph Brandstadter, number one in the brand, stigmatized the event, but also added that Volkswagen is open to “constructive criticism”: “The key to protecting the environment – in short – lies in the long-term joint social effort. Volkswagen will do its part.” Despite Greenpeace’s criticism, it has already begun to take on this responsibility. Dieselgate appears to have served.