Climate activists sabotage electric scooters in French cities

Climate activists sabotage electric scooters in French cities
Photo: AFP
Environmental activists in Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux have put 3,600 electric scooters temporarily out of service in a protest over 'greenwashing'.

Members of the French branch of the international civil disobedience group Extinction Rebellion said they had “put 3,600 electric scooters out of service” to denounce their environmental impact and to show solidarity with the ongoing strikes.



“Due to their high energy consumption, their short life span, these vehicles are merely an instrument of more and more greenwashing,” the group wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

The group said they did not inflict permanent damage to the scooters, they had only “covered up the QR code in order to make them unusable,” blackening the screen where users tap their phone to render the code unreadable.

The sabotage started on December 5th, the first day of the major strikes taken by several unions to protest the government's plan to radically reform France's pension system.

READ ALSO: Black Monday of Transport chaos in Paris

Extinction Rebellion, which supports the strike action, said the scooters were means of “strikebreakers” offering other methods of transport to commuters. 



In total, 2,020 vehicles in Paris were put out of service, 1,500 in Lyon and 90 in Bordeaux.

Electric scooter operators Bird and Lime both denounced Extinction Rebellion's action.

“Thousands of people used our services instead of driving to work this morning, which has an enormous beneficiary impact on the environment,” Bird told AFP in a written statements.

“While we support initiatives to raise awareness about climate change, we think this was a misinformed act,” Bird wrote.

In a response to similar criticism received on Twitter, Extinction Rebellion Tweeted a picture pointing to research showing that most electric scooter users are people who otherwise would have used using public transport or walked, not car drivers.

READ ALSO: Paris to cut number of electric scooter companies to just three

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