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#ATOMS4CLIMATE: The Nuclear Lobby at COP26

by Christopher Pavenstädt 

An energy source that, at least from a German viewpoint, has had his days numbered for quite some time finds new life at climate conferences: nuclear energy.

Pro-nuclear ‘activists’ at COP26, photo source: iaea.org

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

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Unseen Scenes From COP26: E-Racing Cars And Youthwashing Events

By Christopher Pavenstädt

COP has now become a Global North Greenwashing Festival”, summarized Greta Thunberg as she closed the rally of the Youth Climate Strike in Glasgow.

COP26, Glasgow, November 2021. Photo by Christopher Pavenstädt

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

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COP26: Media and Twitter Attention at All-Time High

A quick update with visuals drawn from our Online Media Monitor on Climate Change (OMM)

News media attention to climate change (2017-2021), Online Media Monitor

Good news: COP26 has refocused news media attention and Twitter attention to climate change to an all-time high since 2017. This is also true when dating back to 2004, according to Max Boykoff’s observatory on media coverage, which shows–based on slightly different method and sample–similar results. Continue reading COP26: Media and Twitter Attention at All-Time High

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Where Realism Tips Into Optimism: Review of “The Ministry for the Future” (2020)

by Felix Schaumann

Just as the current climate talks begin , allow us to imagine another future. An optimist one.

Credit: Pixabay 8385

This spring, I gave my mother a book as a present, promising an optimistic take on climate change and on how our next 30 years might play out. Half a year later, she still has not read past page 32 – “it’s too depressing”, she says. I cannot blame her. The Ministry for the Future, a science fiction novel by Kim Stanley Robinson, starts with a heat wave killing around 20 million people in India and subsequent international conflict about unilateral solar geoengineering. On the other hand, the novel ends in 2050 with people flying around the globe in electric air ships, marveling at all the rewilded and restored ecosystems. In between, it forms a subtle narrative arc in which the initial pessimism (or realism) slowly and almost unnoticeably tips into optimism and hope. Continue reading Where Realism Tips Into Optimism: Review of “The Ministry for the Future” (2020)