Two climate activists who blocked traffic in the German city of Stuttgart earlier this year missed their court date because they flew to Bali and Indonesia, for a round trip of 23,000 kilometres producing 7.9 tons of CO2 emissions.
In September 2022, Yannick S. and his girlfriend Luisa S., both members of the Last Generation activist group, blocked commuter traffic in Stuttgart. The two were cited by police, but when their court date arrived, it was revealed that neither could attend because they were on the other side of the planet on vacation.
The two climate activists are now being held up as an example of the hypocrisy of many such activists who come from wealthy families that can afford the type of backpacking trip typical of this social class. At the same time, many of these same individuals have blockaded airports, arguing that airplanes are responsible for a significant amount of CO2 emissions and are only available to the “wealthy” percentage of the population.
Both individuals were summoned to the district court in Bd Cannstatt, where the 24-year-old and his 22-year-old girlfriend were supposed to be tried. When the judge asked the other defendants in the case where the couple was, they replied they were on vacation in Thailand, with plans to then travel on to Bali.
The case prompted a spokesman for Last Generation to say that they are permitted to take a vacation as “private individuals.”
“They booked the flight as private individuals, not as climate protectors. You have to keep that separate,” he said.
Yannick S. and his girlfriend Luisa S. are not the only two climate activists who have been called out for their double standards. World leaders, academics, and CEOs who arrived at the latest World Economic Forum in Davos on a fleet of private jets were harshly ridiculed for their relentless focus on climate change despite their own personal consumption habits.
In addition, Luisa Neubauer, the spokeswoman for “Fridays for Future,” has also been accused of hypocrisy for her travels to Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Namibia, Canada, and Morocco when she was 26. The German climate activist has been nicknamed “long-distance Luisa” on social media.