As every year, November will be another high season for international climate politics – with the 27th Conference of the Parties – the COP27 – starting next week. From November 7 to 18, delegates of all nations from the UNFCC will gather in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, to discuss how to proceed with international climate policy. All in all, more than 35,000 participants are registered. But what are the goals of this year’s conference, and what results can we realistically expect? Continue reading What Can We Expect From COP27?
“It’s going to get worse before it gets worse”, summarised Liberal Party pollster Tony Barry on election night. And while the intricacies of the Australian preferential election system still keep the official final outcome open, the devastating defeat of the centre-right alliance, the “Coalition” of the Liberal and National Parties, was already certain.
Russland pauschal canceln, bringt erst recht keinen Frieden. Das sollte man nicht vergessen. Ein Gastbeitrag.
Joe Biden hat Wladimir Putin schon im März 2021 richtig eingeschätzt: He is a killer. Dem gibt es wenig hinzuzufügen. In Deutschland haben viele die russische Regierung falsch eingeschätzt und zu lange auf Appeasement, Gasimporte und zurückhaltende Diplomatie gesetzt und Putins militärische Interventionen in den Nachbarstaaten toleriert. Nun beeilen sich alle Akteure, Stellung zu beziehen.
From the get-go, the multi-billion euro investment “Nord Stream 2” has been widely criticized, regarding political independence from Russia, political oppression through Russia, and the climate implications of investing in gas pipelines.
When there is an imminent threat of war looming over the horizon it is hard to find clear-cut answers to global issues. This is very much the case in the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Ongoing for the past eight years, the crisis has just been met with renewed media attention as Russia initiated a full-blown military standoff, deploying more than 100.000 troops to the border and demanding that Ukraine never be allowed to join NATO, a concession the alliance has ruled out. With a new threat of armed conflict on the horizon, politicians are grappling with diplomatic means to prevent all-out war. While Germany – one of the largest arms exporters – writhes at the thought of supporting Ukraine with weapons, insisting on other diplomatic means, the prominent stance seems to focus on economic sanctions, especially relating to the European energy and financial markets. Allies are increasingly disconcerted with Germany’s reluctance to use the termination of Nord Stream 2 as leverage in negotiations. Continue reading Nord Stream 2: where the climate crisis meets geopolitics
An energy source that, at least from a German viewpoint, has had its days numbered for quite some time finds new life at climate conferences: nuclear energy.
Not only countries that still count on nuclear energy like Japan and France covered the use of nuclear energy in their pavilions, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was also there to promote nuclear energy as the green energy source of the future. The nuclear interest groups and agencies were granted quite some space to advocate at COP26, despite them fearing exclusion from the conference beforehand. One could imagine that an agency like the IAEA, equipped with considerable access to economic and political networks would focus on direct lobbying efforts, and while they did this in previous years, they were beginning to think of a different strategy for this year. Continue reading #ATOMS4CLIMATE: The Nuclear Lobby at COP26
“COP has now become a Global North Greenwashing Festival”, summarized Greta Thunberg as she closed the rally of the Youth Climate Strike in Glasgow.
Greta has come a long way. In 2018, COP24 elevated her voice onto the global consciousness. The young, then 15-year-old girl talking in an accusing, emotional tone, to the distant, very formal process of the COP. Now, she doesn’t need the plenary hall anymore. Here, she was outside, missing no opportunity to distance herself from the inside of COP. My personal view of COP26 comes from my week-long experience in Glasgow, observing the unseen scenes — those which did not catch the media audience’s eye. Continue reading Unseen Scenes From COP26: E-Racing Cars And Youthwashing Events
The dramatic reduction in flights during the COVID-19 pandemic opens a natural opportunity for us to consider: what role does the aviation industry have to play in tackling the climate crisis?
Before the pandemic, it seemed unthinkable: a 70 percent drop in flights worldwide? Yet this is exactly what happened in May 2020. The dramatic changes seen in our lifestyles since the beginning of 2020 disposes of the idea that radical change is not possible. Under the right pressure, industry, governments and individuals seem to adapt their priorities to comply with external conditions. Climate change – as COVID-19 – is a global crisis. There can, and will, be radically different lifestyles which we adopt in response to this externality.
In a recent blogpost, I argued that climate policy should be seen and treated as something fundamentally different from environmental policy. However, I am not sure I entirely convinced even myself. Therefore, I’d like to use this piece to take the opposite stance, by arguing that climate and environmental problems should be confronted together.
It is true that the main cause of climate change consists of burning fossil fuels, suggesting a focus on economic solutions relating to energy use. However, it is also true that the effects of climate change present themselves as environmental problems – ranging from storms and droughts to the extinction of species and the loss of entire ecosystems.
Documentaries are one way of presenting the problems climate change poses, but also possibilities for a better future, to a broad audience. In this video, our team member Shorouk Elkobros, now Science Communication Consultant at the European Science Foundation, compares the approach and framing of different climate documentaries. Have fun watching it – but be warned, you might want to watch some or all of the documentaries mentioned afterwards!
The video summarizes the results from Shorouk’s Master’s thesis in Integrated Climate System Sciences at the University of Hamburg, titled “Multimodal framing of climate change-related future scenarios in documentaries”.
Climate change is receiving more and more attention. While the topic has traditionally been seen as an environmental issue, it is now increasingly reaching beyond and detaching from the sphere of classical environmental policy. In this piece, I will argue that this is a good thing.
The environmental movement has been around for half a century now, at least in many parts of the world. While it has had many successes, it is still a minority in society. At the same time, ambitious climate action is required to happen within this decade, if we want to fulfil the Paris Agreement. In order to instigate political action now, it is necessary to build coalitions that amount to societal majorities, thereby reaching far beyond environmentalist circles.