How can Europe speed up climate protection?
Finland has announced plans to reduce its emissions to zero by 2035, however its government has yet to name specific measures. The UK, by contrast, has unveiled a list of measures ranging from expanding renewable energies and reforestation to dietary changes with which its aims to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050. What else needs to be done?
No chance for greenwashing
On the occasion of Denmark's Entrepreneur Day Jyllands Posten calls for binding standards for comparing companies in terms of sustainability:
“Without international standards, including as much transparency as possible, there is the risk that companies will succumb to the temptation to make themselves look greener than they are. Everyone wants to look good on sustainability, but simply being able to use the round UN symbol for the 17 sustainable development goals doesn't automatically make a company climate-friendly - and it will be hard hit if the truth comes to light one day.”
Flying until the world ends
Lapin Kansa asks how people's insatiable appetite for air travel can be restrained:
“Flying will never stop because time is money and people were born to fly. So the problem must be tackled in another way. ... Biofuels would reduce plane emissions by 60 to 80 percent. That's the course that would have been taken if there weren't too little of these fuels and if they didn't cost three to five times as much as jet fuel. Flights using solar cells and other electric engines would be completely emission-free, but unfortunately this alternative won't be available for decades. ... My bet is that people will fly until they are wiped out. No doubt there will still be hundreds of planes in the air when the ecosystem is on its deathbed and life on earth is impossible.”
Corruption destroying the environment
Political scientist Stephanos Konstantinidis has hard words for the Cypriot government's policies on climate protection in Phileleftheros:
“We are experiencing a bizarre situation on Cyprus. Beaches are being destroyed as a result of diverging economic interests. The chopping down of trees and uncontrolled construction are tolerated and even protected by the political system. In a country with so much sun measures or strategies that are standard in the Nordic countries with their limited hours of sunshine are not being taken. The principle of easy profit, cronyism and corruption reigns supreme. The consequences of this policy are already visible. If it continues the consequences for people's quality of life will be catastrophic.”
Kick up a fuss for a better future!
In a commentary published in Público, Rodrigo Melo, a student at Lisbon University, calls on society to up the pressure:
“Certainly, there is fake news about climate change and the destruction of the environment. Without doubt there are also malicious people and movements - and questionable positions. On the other hand there is a great willingness among many people who are worried and want to make the world a better place for everyone. ... Kick up a fuss, in the truest sense of the word! Take part in demonstrations - but above all try to change your own behaviour. Decision makers in politics and business, do the same! We must realise how much power we have: namely the power to contribute to a better future for everyone with our actions - which is inevitably synonymous with our own survival.”