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What Can We Expect From COP27?

logo of COP27 in Egypt

by Fenja De Silva-Schmidt

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?

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The Australian 2022 Election: moving in the right direction?

Australian flag

By Robin Tschötschel

“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.

Continue reading The Australian 2022 Election: moving in the right direction?

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Why Don’t We Act Now? The discrepancy between climate change awareness and action

By Marina Falke

The 6th IPCC Report of Working Group 3 was published just about two months ago, on April 4, and stated once more and in further detail the urgency to mitigate climate change. As known, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) consists of politicians and scientist of the United Nation, grouped in three working groups focusing on different aspects of climate change. The third working group specializes in climate change mitigation and presents sources of global emissions as well as developments in emission reduction and mitigation efforts. Despite the great importance of the report’s findings, neither sufficient media coverage nor meaningful political reaction have yet materialized. Why is the gap between climate change’s urgency and action on it still so wide? Continue reading Why Don’t We Act Now? The discrepancy between climate change awareness and action

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Eine Allegorie an den Klimawandel: Filmkritik „Don´t Look Up“ (2021)

Von Lea Sommer

Don’t Look Up film’s poster (2021). Image Source: Impawards, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Netflix appelliert mit der Veröffentlichung von „Don´t Look Up“ am 24. Dezember 2021 daran, die Wissenschaft ernst zu nehmen. Die Anspielung auf die Klimakrise und dessen Leugnung sind nicht zu übersehen. Dabei verfehlt er die Darstellung der gesellschaftlichen Lage und Handlungsfähigkeit. Wahrscheinlich, weil er diese nicht anerkennt.


Continue reading Eine Allegorie an den Klimawandel: Filmkritik „Don´t Look Up“ (2021)

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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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Why Climate Policy is not the same as Environmental Policy

by Felix Schaumann

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.

demonstration image, penguin with a lifebuoy asking where is my home? Continue reading Why Climate Policy is not the same as Environmental Policy

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Addressing the Nation: Pandemic!

How was the Covid-19 pandemic communicated by different leaders in their televised speeches and why does it matter?

by Hadas Emma Kedar

Illustration: screenshots of speeches of world leaders (between 16.-26.03.2020) [different online sources].
Six months have passed since nations of the world have locked-down against the spread of Covid-19. After its classification as a pandemic by the World Health Organization on 11 March 2020, leaders have addressed their nations to declare an emergency. These “addressing the nation” speeches are worth examining, as they deal with the same crisis at the same point of time, and it seems fair to assert that a great deal of a society’s behavior stems from its leader’s public expressions. For example, terms like war, enemy or discipline might encourage anxiety and violence among citizens, while challenge, strength and solidarity might encourage emotional strength and decrease anxiety.

Continue reading Addressing the Nation: Pandemic!

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A Short Personal Guide to Climate Change Conversations

by Eduardo Alastrué de Asenjo

As natural scientists, we hopefully learn multiple concepts about uncertainty throughout our education and research, and, at some point, the time will come when we need to put them into practice. This post comes from the necessity of a first approach to assemble some of the multiple guidelines and recommendations that we receive regarding climate change communication. I am not referring particularly to the topic of communication in newspapers or TV, but to a much more mundane request. In this case, my goal is to have a structured set of rules or steps that a natural scientist working on climate change can follow when trying to address a day-to-day conversation on the topic.

Picture taken from Pexels. Author: Oleg Magni

Continue reading A Short Personal Guide to Climate Change Conversations

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Warum das Zwei-Grad-Ziel ein (Kommunikations-) Problem ist

von Michael Brüggemann und Fenja De Silva-Schmidt

Thermometer 2 Grad mehrIn seinem Kommentar zur Klimapolitik hat sich der Innenpolitik-Chef der FAZ kürzlich schwer vertippt: Er schreibt, es gäbe „die Verpflichtung, bis 2050 die Erwärmung deutlich unter zwei Grad zu senken“. Dabei ist es natürlich so, dass sich die Zwei-Grad-Grenze, so wie sie die Staatengemeinschaft 2015 in Paris beschlossen hat, auf das Jahr 2100 bezieht. Fehler können passieren und gehören zum journalistischen wie zu jedem anderen Handwerk dazu – genauso wie eine öffentliche Korrektur des Fehlers, mit Publikation möglichst an gleicher Stelle.

Dass ein solcher Fehler bei einer der führenden Qualitätszeitungen vorkommt, hat aber möglicherweise tieferliegende Gründe: Die Zwei-Grad-Grenze bietet keine Anleitung und wenig Anreiz für gute Klimapolitik in der Gegenwart. Continue reading Warum das Zwei-Grad-Ziel ein (Kommunikations-) Problem ist

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Climate change litigation with a global approach: Interview with attorney Gisela Toussaint

by Fenja De Silva-Schmidt

A while ago, we explained what climate change litigation is, and presented some case examples that have been featured in the media (see here). For this post, we conducted a telephone interview with the climate change litigation expert Gisela Toussaint, who has already been part of several initiatives appealing to different courts. She explains further details of her approach and tells us about her motivation.

Gisela Toussaint and mandates
Gisela (left) with some of her clients. ©Ludwig Essig / Greenteam Schwabenpower

Gisela, what are your current projects related to climate change? Continue reading Climate change litigation with a global approach: Interview with attorney Gisela Toussaint