“If you need a new female role model, meet Luisa Naubauer. At 23, poised and calm, she is talking the talk and walking the walk. She is a geography student, activist and member of the german environmentalist Green Party, and in the last year, she has become the German face of the “Fridays for Future” climate protection rallies.
As of the beginning of 2019, Neubauer became known as one of the leading Fridays For Future activists. Many media outlets refer to her as the “German face of the movement.” Neubauer rejects comparisons of herself and other strike organisers to Greta Thunberg, saying: “We’re building a mass-movement and reaching out quite far in our methods of mobilising and gaining attention. What Greta does is incredibly inspiring but actually relatively far from that.”
Neubauer does not see the strikes as a means of directly affecting politics. More important is the work behind the strikes: “What we’re doing is incredibly sustainable. We’re creating structures and turning the events into educational experiences. And we’re leading debates on the principles of climate protection.”
Following the protests of Fridays For Future Germany against Siemens for a specific infrastructure project in Australia, Neubauer met Joe Kaeser in January 2020. On 13 January 2020, it was announced that Neubauer had turned down an offer by Joe Kaeser to sit on the Siemens Energy board. In a statement Neubauer said that “If I were to take it up, I would be obliged to represent the company’s interests and could never be an independent critic of Siemens,” she explained. “That is not compatible with my role as [a] climate activist.”. Joe Kaeser stated that he did not offer Neubauer a seat in the companies’ Board, but that he is open to have Neubauer on a Board on environmental questions
On the day before Siemens announced that they will keep the contract with Adani to provide the rail infrastructure of the Carmichael coal mine in Australia. Neubauer told the news agency DPA: “We asked Kaeser to do everything possible to stop the Adani mine. Instead he will now profit from this disastrous project.” She added that this decision was “so last century” and that Kaeser was making an “unforgivable mistake”.
Follow Luisa on Twitter @Luisamneubauer and Instagram @luisaneubauer