29.10.2021 – 19:44
Central Bavarian Newspaper
As the newly appointed Federal Environment Minister, Angela Merkel led a UN climate conference in Berlin in 1995, which, however, left hardly any lasting traces. In the past 26 years since then, up to the World Climate Conference, which begins on Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland, not much has turned out for the better. An ambitious climate protection target was agreed in Paris in 2015 – global warming should be limited to below two, if possible to 1.5 degrees compared to the pre-industrial era – but the way there has only been vaguely mapped out.
Many states are trying to avoid setting specific targets by when they want to have achieved climate neutrality. Not to mention the concrete measures how to do this, and not to mention the financing of this truly gigantic change. In Paris it was still celebrated that the vast majority of states had been able to agree on an ambitious climate target. Merkel and the then US President Barack Obama in particular had put pressure on them. And so China and Russia finally swung in.
But since the 2015 World Climate Conference, we have had to learn bitterly that setting more stringent global climate targets alone is by no means sufficient to achieve real change. Paris has had almost no consequences. Since then, significantly more climate-damaging gases have been emitted into the atmosphere than would be permissible for the targeted limitation of global warming.
The short-term decline in the rise in emissions in most industrialized countries was due to the corona pandemic and not to sustainable, effective climate policy. Whether the conference in Glasgow, after all with US President Joe Biden, outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel and other top politicians, will change anything is at least questionable. The chances of getting more commitment, more effort and a properly financed climate fund are there. But they are only minor. When it comes to the greatest global challenge, the international community is standing still. And that is fatal.
In Germany, the three traffic light negotiating parties have come up with nice headlines, there is talk of a future and climate coalition, but seen in the light, the red-green-yellow exploratory paper falls short of the requirements. A powerful swing towards the climate-friendly conversion of industry, traffic, building and living is obviously not possible with the traffic light either.
Because of the resistance of the liberals, it was not even possible to get through to the almost free measure, the speed limit. A majority of Germans have long been against unlimited lawns on motorways. Even the largest motorists association ADAC has given up its resistance to the speed limit, which has been revered like a monstrance for decades.
The crux of climate protection is that it will involve some far-reaching changes that affect us all. Even under Merkel, people were led to believe that there would be no restrictions, no compromises in prosperity to protect the climate. But that was and is a false promise. The question is not that there have to be changes, but rather how people can be taken along, how social hardship can be avoided. Climate protection and the energy transition can only be achieved if citizens participate and are convinced of their benefits. Doing nothing is much more expensive for mankind than active climate protection.
Central Bavarian Newspaper
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Original content from: Mittelbayerische Zeitung, transmitted by news aktuell