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Climate Change


Two years have passed since we published our first dossier on climate change. We wanted to have a look at the condition our planet is in. We wanted to showcase the latest research, and we wanted to shake up and ring alarm bells. But at the same time we wanted to present examples that show that not everything is lost yet. Not for us, nor for our children and future generations.

The 25th edition of the UN Climate Conference in December 2019 gathered representatives from all countries, together with scientists, stakeholders of companies and members of civil society, including many environmental and human rights NGOs.
FairPlanet approached the participants before the start of the summit. We asked them about their expectations, hopes and goals.
Fentje Jacobsen, World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF)

It‘s two years later now, and a lot has happened. And we have to say, not much has changed for the better, rather the opposite. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published further reports, including the "Global Warming of 1.5 ° Special Report", the "Climate Change And Land Special Report" and most recently the "Ocean And Cryosphere Special Report". There you can find all currently expected scenarios - from the best case (with committed climate protection policies around the world) to the worst case (with further increasing greenhouse gas emissions).

Almost daily, it seems, the public is confronted with new horror scenarios of the imminent climate catastrophe. Permafrost soils in Siberia, Alaska and Canada thaw to a degree that scientists would not have expected until the end of the century. The amounts of methane released there are many times more damaging to the climate than carbon dioxide, even though it decomposes faster in the atmosphere. At the same time, forest fires are increasing in frequency and intensity worldwide, in the rainforests of the Amazon, the Congo Basin, in Indonesia, but also in Australia, California and southern Europe. Even in the temperate latitudes of central and northern Europe and even the Arctic Circle, devastating forest fires occurred in recent years. The same applies to floods, heat waves, hurricanes - they all get worse and occur more frequently.

And all that seems to be just the beginning.

If we all together in the so-called developed countries do not drastically change our way of life over the next 10 to 20 years, human life on our small blue planet could soon come to an end.

But what is the current status in politics and societies around the globe? Sure, there are encouraging approaches. Countries like Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Portugal or New Zealand are well on the way to bringing their economies to zero emissions. But the reality also is: none of the G20 countries are meeting the climate protection commitments they signed at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.

In our editorial on the FairPlanet Climate Change Dossier in 2017, we reported US President Trump‘s announcement to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Two years later, he is still determined to do so, the earliest possible legal date being 4 November 2020.

But there are options for a more climate-friendly US policy, and they are based on plans for a "Green New Deal" proposed by some Democratic Party presidential candidates. We‘ll have a more detailed look at the „Green New Deal“ in our dossier.

There are also technical innovations that promise to lead to a more climate-friendly way of life. New fuels and new ways of producing and storing energy, new concepts of mobility and transport, advances in renewable energies and food production. We will have a look at these innovations in our dossier, too.

Apart from that, it is the millions of young people of the new climate and environmental movements, such as Fridays-for-Future or Extinction Rebellion, who are taking to the streets around the globe and protesting for their right to a habitable planet. They are giving hope to all of us that change is coming. And they need our support.

We want to be as close as possible to the fight against the impending climate catastrophe, which is probably the greatest challenge of our time. We want to give you up-to-date and in-depth information, and at the same time we keep an eye on those who decide our future and the faith of our planet: researchers, politicians, entrepreneurs, activists, but also those who are already suffering from the consequences of climate change.

We want to encourage you to: ENGAGE.

So stay tuned for more episodes of our ever developing Climate Change Dossier.