Climate activists take responsibility for Formula E grid invasion

German climate group Last Generation has taken responsibility for protesting on the starting grid at the Berlin E-Prix on Sunday.

As the second Formula E Grand Prix of the weekend was beginning around the Berlin Templehof Airport Circuit on Sunday, climate activists jumped onto the starting grid, attempting to blockade the cars.

The five protestors, wearing t-shirts emblazoned with slogans, climbed the debris fence as the cars were lining up in their grid positions, forcing security personnel to react swiftly.

Officials removed the protestors, who were formally arrested by police, but the race was delayed by over six minutes due to the incident, with Envision’s Nick Cassidy eventually taking the victory. 

Last Generational (Letzte Generation), a German group of “climate justice activists”, claimed responsibility for the protest on their social media page.

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The group had been openly engaging in disruptive protests around Berlin over the weekend, as they look to pressure the German government to take stronger action on climate change.

“We are at the @eFORMELde [sic] racetrack to sound the alarm,” Letzte Generation stated. 

“It’s time to slow down. Because we’re on the highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator.”

The decision of climate activists to target Formula E left some fans bemused on social media, as the sport is the only FIA accredited world championship which runs on all-electric power, producing zero emissions.

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“When the environment protesters wanted to prove a point last in Formula 1 British GP Silverstone 2022, it was understandable because F1 cars uses petrol engines also their ahh was saved by Zhou Crash , but WTF they want to protest in Formula E?” one Twitter user wrote.

“If you’re going to protest at the greenest of sports like Snooker and Formula E your message couldn’t be any more diluted. Terrible optics,” another highlighted.

“Environmental protest at a Formula E race… I guess that makes sense, after the race I’m going to protest against ocean plastics at a recycling depot,” one joked.

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The incident is the latest climate change protest to hit an international sporting event. The British Grand Prix at Silverstone was impacted last year by Just Stop Oil protestors, who invaded the Wellington Straight, almost causing a disastrous incident.

Fortunately, the worst case scenario was avoided, as drivers were already under red flag conditions following an incident involving Zhou Guanyu on the opening lap, meaning that cars were moving slower than normal.

The protestors at the British Grand Prix were later convicted in court of public nuisance, with some receiving prison sentences, while others were handed community orders.