Search Results for Tag: climate
The President calls to act – Obama’s climate speech
US-President Barack Obama gave a speech on climate change yesterday. His words could lead to a milestone-process for US climate politics. He made clear that the United States have to play a leading role in the world’s ambitions to tackle global warming.
The plans the president rolled out are foreseeable wide-ranging, including a limit on carbon pollution for the first time in US history.
Emissions need to fall by 17 percent until 2020, the President said. This will “put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution.”
The emissons already dropped last in 2012 on the lowest amount in 20 years. But not for climate security reasons. The moderate economic developement of the United States and the growing use of natural gas (which has an lower amount of carbon dioxide) rather were responsible for the decreasing numbers.
The exact plans
According to the speech he held in Washington, the United States would boost the production of renewable energy, increase efficiency standards and prepare communities to deal with higher temperatures.
So what exactly the president wants to happen?
The energy that is harnessed from sun and wind should be doubled, according to Obama. That makes a power supply for more than six million househoulds in the US. The president also spoke about the highly debated Keystone Pipeline-project, that is planed to transport tar sand-oil from Canada to refineries at the Gulf of Mexico. This pipeline will only be build if it „does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.“
Another point was the building of a new nuclear power plant, the first one in 30 years. In opposition to Germany for example US still count on nuclear power as a green and save source of energy.
Impacts for the private sector
Obamas plans also reach for the private sector as well. Besides a fuel consumption that is now enlarged from cars to trucks the President wants to fight the waste of energy in private homes, public buildings or companies by supporting building insulation or energy saving light sources.
So, the speech offers a lot of plans. But what can be done? Nothing can be established immediatly, there’s always a long process about a few years. And Obamas presidency lasts for three more years. But at least the plans would be put in place through an executive order, bypassing the Congress, which has stalemated over climate legislation in recent years.
During his presentation the audience could literally see what all this is about: The oppressive heat of June often forced beads of sweat on the presidents forehead.
DateJune 26, 2013
Tagscarbon emission, climate, deutsche welle, dw, financing, global ideas, natural gas, Obama, oil, pipeline, president, speech, tar sand, trade, university, Washington
The climate-volunteers of Indonesia
What do you expect when you are visiting a climate protection project, supported by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)? I was pretty sure to find some supporting staff members who are well payed to do their green jobs. But what I found at Pangandaran, a bathing resort at the Southern coast of Java, was a lot more – a large number of Indonesian people are taking action themselves, as volunteers in the project. The motivations may be different, but all of them agree that something has to be done, sooner, not later.
Apip Winayadi is an activist for Sundanese Culture, he sees his task hidden in history:
When a terrible Tsunami rolled over the region in 2006, leaving more than 600 people dead, almost everything was destroyed. Mangroves had been ripped of the ground, coral reefs where smashed by the power of the wave. But also the livelihood of the whole population layed down, without any infrastructure or hotels tourism collapsed completely. But the catastrophe caused a new dawn with a lot of opportunities for the future, Encih Sarsih says. She is the principal of an elementary school here:
The STREAM Project (Sustainable Tourism through Energy Efficiency with Adaptation and Mitigation Measures) focuses mainly on the support of renewable energies (in hotels or restaurants) and a rebuilding of the destroyed environment (reforesting mangroves or building up coral reefs). This is where most of the volunteers are involved, like Bapak Iwa, a fisherman and today also an environmental activist:
Author: Kerstin Schweizer /ke
DateMay 27, 2013
Tagsawareness, climate, coral reef, environment, Indonesia, mangrove, pangandaran, tourism, volunteer
The tricky job of hammering out a climate wishlist
The first World Youth Sustainability concluded in Berlin recently. It brought together over 150 young people from 31 countries who met policymakers and experts to talk about how their dream of a more sustainable, equitable world could be realized. Two young participants, Anne-Sophie Risse and Teresa Thalmaier, describe their experiences at the tightly-packed summit.
Anne-Sophie Risse, youthinkgreen-Team Osnabrück:
Friday, May 17 – Day seven of our first World Youth Sustainability Summit. Off to an early start – my alarm rings at 6 a.m. It’s not so unusual really since I get up at that hour anyway during a normal school week. But yesterday was a long day. We spent the whole day at the Pariser Platz in central Berlin for our Tree of Hope project. It’s made of trash and has pages bearing the wishes, demands, hopes and requests from us and from other people addressed to lawmakers, governments and people around the world.
Now, early Friday morning, it’s our job to hand over the Tree of Hope to German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier. We – that is 160 young people from 31 countries – arrive at the ministry at 8 a.m. We’d come together in Berlin to draft a document expressing what we want to policymakers, business and society. Our meeting with Altmaier lasts just 15 minutes.
In order to get a solid understanding of some of the issues that made it into the document, we’ve been listening to daily talks by various experts on climate change and other topics. Today, it’s the turn of renowned climate researcher Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. We head to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research to hear him speak. He’s very competent and understanding and begins his talk by saying “I’ll wake you up when something important comes up!” In addition to several interesting facts on climate change, I take away this impression from the talk – if there’s an acute, common problem then even nations that are sworn enemies can manage to work together.
I wonder if things have to go that far. With that thought, we head to the next workshop “Climate change – an intergenerational problem.” Carl-Friedrich Schleußner is the expert in this case and says that people need to live in such a way so that life for successive generations is at least just as good. It’s a topic you can discuss forever. So that the day doesn’t end on too theoretical a note, we’re shown videos by the “ClimateMediaFactory.org” – the world as a user of a network dubbed “Earthbook.” The videos were really well done.
Teresa Thalmaier, youthinkgreen-Team Windhoek:
After absorbing so many new impressions, faces, fascinating lectures and different cultures, we headed to the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
“If you thought the last few days were grueling, then you’d better get prepared for something really tough today. But that’s what you’ll take home with you, something you can be proud of.” That’s how Helmut Spiering, the project founder of youthinkgreen, welcomed us.
Another two long hours to go before lunch. Initially, we sat in groups of maximum ten young people and racked our brains – what do we actually want? What needs to change? How can we shape our world in a more sustainable manner? How can you achieve that aim?
It sounds easier than it is. How do you formulate things that are politically correct and still compelling? But we weren’t the only ones struggling with the problem. After another discussion in a smaller circle, further groups were created. Now four larger with 40 members each worked on their wish lists. Exhausted, we dragged ourselves off to lunch to recharge our batteries. We all really needed it!
But the tough part was still to come. We were asked to discuss the four wish lists from all the groups and to combine then. We – 160 young people from 31 countries – sat excitedly in a large conference room. There were so many different cultures and languages represented. But all that wasn’t meant to hinder us.
The most difficult part often was formulating the document. Often, our statements weren’t concrete enough, at times superfluous – though there were really good ideas behind them. We gained a deep insight into how a parliament works, how politics is done on an international stage. At the end, we had our final document. It’s unbelievable what we achieved in the last weeks and I’m happy to be a part of the youthinkgreen family!
DateMay 21, 2013
A Song, a Dance and Spots on the Fight Against Climate Change
The event, many of whose attendees were project managers and leading figures in their respective fields, were pleasantly surprised as the youthinkgreen teams that took part in the gala showed discipline, determination and that they were not to be discouraged by the sheer size and importance of the event at hand.
The program, whose highlights were the youthinkgreen rendition of the song ,,Mut zum Handeln” (courage to act), the various student-produced environmentally oriented spots, and the Indian dance showed the unique inter-cultural connection between the various members of the Youthinkgreen.
The excitement at the event rubbed off on each and every one of our guests, with many of them on the verge of euphoria. We were standing hand-in-hand with people whose success has come to be known on every continent of the planet and watched in amazement as they relaxed and spoke to us as peers, not as minors, as friends not as climate change fighters.
All in all, to simply call our summit a success would be an understatement. The Allianz Forum will forever in our hearts be remembered as the place where we graduated into adults, supported along our journey by the constant recognition we received throughout the process.
Written by Mourad Farahat, youthinkgreen Kairo
DateMay 17, 2013
Tagsallianz forum, berlin, challenge, climate, environment, european parliament, figueres, future, global, global ideas, living, Merkel, summit, sustainability, youth, Youthinkgreen
Handing over the „Tree of Hope“
The „Tree of Hope“ had a long and fruitful journey. First we planet it at the climate summit in Doha in December 2012. And now it grew at the 1st World Youth Sustainability Summit 2013 in Berlin. The tree is actually not a real tree. It’s trunk is made from garbage and the crown from green paper leafs filled with the wishes, demands and ideas of people from all over the world.
It’s a beautiful and complex tree, meant to be a demand against mankinds extravagantly and unecological lifestyle. People should see the tree, read the leafs and think about their own daily routines. All 160 participants of the Youth Sustainability Summit collected the wishes and demands from friends and siblings in the 31 countries they call home. The tree grew upto 4 meters yesterday at the Brandenburg Gate in the centre of Berlin. And it grew more leafs as citizens and tourists also started to write on leafs.
Besides the „Tree of Hope“ we used a 10qm blanket to illustrate the ecological foot- and hand-print everybody has. The foot-print depends on the way people live and how they consume things. The hand-print shows that it’s possible to fight against climate change. So we asked people to leave a colourfull print of feed and hands on the white blanket. The action was a success, it ended with a gala at the Allianzforum (Read the post by Mourad Farahat) where a nice breeze shook the leafs of the trees.
The leafs are filled with all kinds of demands, as you can see on the pictures. The ideas and wishes very much depend on where the writer comes from. You can imagine that a person from a developing countries shares quite different hopes as someone from a industrialized country.
We hope that all our wishes and demands will come true. That’s more than important to leave our children and grandchildren a world that is worth living. The way we live today destroys the future. I personally want to live in a world where nature has a more important role again and not only profit. I wish for more green spaces in cities, more room for bicycles and children to play. The „Tree of Hope“ is now in the hands of the German Environmental Minister Peter Altmaier. We hope for results.
Written by Anke Britta Schmidt, youthinkgreen Osnabrück /ke
DateMay 17, 2013
Tagsberlin, bsr, challenge, climate, environment, european parliament, figueres, future, global, global ideas, living, Merkel, pöttering, prinzessinnengarten, summit, sustainability, youth, Youthinkgreen