In Vienna, the campaign begins after a “heat of climate disasters” on the Praterstern and leads across the ring to Heldenplatz, where the final rally takes place – more information on this at wien.ORF.at. In other federal states too, people are again taking to the streets for climate protection. “Let’s put pressure on politics together on Friday!” Activist Paula Dorton had a call. The impending climate disaster requires a realistic answer.
Thunberg in Berlin
In Germany too, two days before the general election, hundreds of cities had demos for more climate protection. According to media reports, the protesters in Berlin have the support of Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. However, she emphasized that she did not want to advertise a party: “We are not lobbying for the Greens.” In Germany, “no politicians, no women, no party treat the climate crisis as an emergency”.
Austrian “Friday for Future” activist Paula Dorten already criticized that the policy “delays and halts” climate protection. His German colleague Louisa Neubauer positively emphasized that climate protection was playing a bigger role in the current election campaign than it was two years ago. But he’s under no illusions: The candidates will promise “moderate measures.” But it is “unrealistic”. Because the crisis has come a long time ago.
Politics “more concerned with myself”
The central demands of the climate protection movement remain: limiting global warming to a maximum of one and a half degrees Celsius and a “socially acceptable” reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible. Politicians are reacting very slowly to current developments for “Friday for the Future”. Just last week, the United Nations warned in a report that the 1.5-degree target could only be achieved with drastic measures.
While the “Fridays for the Future” movement was initially supported by schoolchildren and students, more and more groups came out against the climate crisis and past political responses to it. In Austria, for example, more than 100 organisations, associations and initiatives are now participating in the eighth global mass protest – which includes the Red Cross, the WWF, the Austrian Federation of Trade Unions (ÖGB) and churches – on more religions. In.ORF.at.
In Germany the movement was also supported by a number of celebrities such as actress Katja Riemann, pianist Igor Levitt and author Frank Schatzing, who, given the current climate disasters, called for more climate protection in a video – even against the backdrop of the German election. . They also see politics in demand, which “seems to be more concerned with itself than with the world”, as the author Peter Wohleben has said.
The debate about climate tax
An eco-social tax reform is to take effect from 1 January, bringing both higher taxation on energy consumption and noticeable relief.
“Kermit, the frog was wrong”
The importance of the fight against the climate crisis is discussed at international conferences, such as this week at the UN General Assembly. The speeches called for the need for action and made big announcements. It remains to be seen what action will actually take place. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave an unconventional speech based on the “Muppet Show”: “When Kermit the Frog sang: ‘It ain’t easy being green’, he was wrong. We have nothing to fear and this Green Industrial Revolution itself.” can benefit.”
Johnson sees COP26, a UN climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, to be held in November as “a turning point for humanity”. Earth should no longer be treated like an “indestructible toy”. Johnson: “We have a great power to change things or change them for the better (…).” US President Joe Biden praised for providing additional billions for climate aid; Chinese President Xi Jinping thanked Johnson for announcing that he would no longer export coal-fired power plants.
vague promises to China
China itself has enough catch to do. The People’s Republic is one of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters and relies only on coal power. In the past year alone, coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of 38.4 GW were connected to the grid. The government aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 2030 and be CO2 neutral after 30 years. US Climate Commissioner John Kerry recently criticized the continued construction of coal-fired power plants in China. Furthermore, when Xi made the declaration at the United Nations, it was unclear what term he was talking about and whether it also referred to power plants under construction.
The US reacted cautiously to China’s announcement not to support any coal-fired power plants abroad. This should be welcomed, but more comprehensive measures are necessary. The US “looks forward to learning more about additional steps (to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, note)”.
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