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Accepted paper:

Fridays for Future in the time of climate crisis: Shared vulnerability perception and related adaptive strategies


Joonas Plaan (Tallinn University)
Christian Reichel (Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space)
Bianka Plüschke-Altof (Tallinn University)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper we will demonstrate how local climate cultures in Europe influence the possibilities for claim-making and framing of climate change as climate crisis by the global Fridays for Future movement (FfF).

Paper long abstract:

Adding to the debate on societal barriers to climate change adaption as well as to environmental activism' framing, we analyze local formations of climate change related strategies and framings by the FfF movements in Germany and Estonia. We assume that cultural coding and logics are decisive for how global climate change is experienced and interpreted locally and therefore argue that it is the local climate culture, which enables or disables possibilities for climate change activism in both countries. The contribution will thus focus on the questions how FfF's global blueprint of a climate strike that builds on the notion of crisis is transferred into different societal contexts. Therefore, we will ask three related of overlapping questions a) how Fridays for future activist perceive and interpret climate change. b) What are their visions and values in terms of climate change related action. c) what strategies to the to overcome when urging decision-makers and individuals to translate climate-related knowledge into action? Based on multisided ethnographies and an analysis of the public media discourse on and by the FfF movement (local news and social media), similarities and differences in discursive knowledge formation and protest actions in these two countries are elaborated on the example of FfF groups in Berlin and Frankfurt (Germany), Tallinn and Tartu (Estonia). Going beyond a mere description of different climate cultures, the contribution of this chapter is to show how local interpretations of climate change shape global climate action.

panel P019
Privileged fear: Europe and the concern for environmental catastrophes [EnviroAnt]