German government reaches climate plan deal

Berlin: Chancellor Angela Merkel's government reached a deal Friday on a broad climate plan for Germany, a coalition source said, as tens of thousands of protesters rallied demanding more environmental protection. After marathon overnight talks dragging more than 18 hours, the coalition reached "an agreement with many measures and an annual monitoring mechanism" on meeting climate targets, said a government source.

The plan, which covers a slew of measures from tackling emissions in the energy and industrial sectors, to incentives for zero-emission electric vehicles or public transport, was due to be unveiled at a press conference later Friday. As the politicians emerged red-eyed from the session, across Germany, protesters were out in the streets with colourful banners and posters with slogans like "make rainforests great again" or "I want a hot date, not a hot planet".

In the biggest international wave of Fridays for Future climate strikes to date started by Swedish teen Greta Thunberg, a major bridge in central Berlin was blocked off by demonstrators who strung red and white tape across the streets, while in the financial capital Frankfurt, sit-ins were underway. After two blistering summers and thousands of youths joining school strikes week after week, climate has shot to the top of the political agenda in the EU's biggest economy.