How much does climate mitigation hurt?
Heatwaves, droughts and other extreme weather events are generally considered to be symptoms of climate change. According to a new study, nothing would be as effective to combat it as afforestation on a gigantic scale. Yet other measures, for example a carbon tax, are also being debated. Commentators discuss the enormous challenges that climate mitigation entails.
Without Germany it will all come to nothing
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung argues that individual countries must lead by example with respect to climate change mitigation:
“Global climate mitigation is conceivable only if individual countries demonstrate that what is necessary is actually possible. That you can get clean without being impoverished. And these individuals can only be those that are firstly rich enough for such a major effort and secondly especially to blame for the problems of our time because they produce more greenhouse gas per capita than others. Both are true of Germany. It may be true that we will not succeed on our own. Germany isn't everything. But without Germany, it will all be for nothing.”
Green revolution is antisocial
Jyllands-Posten comments that socially just implementation of climate mitigation entails major problems:
“If taxes and fees skyrocket, it will become apparent how antisocial a green revolution can be. Of course the parties are aware of this, but they are not being candid about it. One example is the announcement of the Red-Green Alliance [that supports the ruling Social Democrats] that it seems safe to say that flying to Thailand will become more expensive, but that a mechanism should be established that compensates less well-off groups. That shows the full extent of their powerlessness: if the goal is that fewer people fly to Thailand, then it makes no sense to make payments that can then be used to pay for airline tickets.”
Capitalism and climate protection clash
The institutionalisation of the green movement will not be enough to stop climate change, stresses activist João Camargo in Público:
“What was lacking a year ago was a social and political movement for a just climate policy that can stop the collapse. Today this movement exists around the world. It would be important to continue strengthening it, but the urge to institutionalise the movement is a great threat to it. ... Capitalism will not survive this crisis. The question is: will capitalism lead us into the abyss, or will we put an end to it? There simply is no political and social program that could stop the climate crisis without demolishing the capitalist power structure at the same time.”
Massive mobilisation needed
Climate change should be met with a positive vision and not with panic-mongering, former Labour leader Ed Miliband writes in The Guardian:
“Martin Luther King is remembered for proclaiming at the March on Washington 'I have a dream' not 'I have a nightmare'. We need to collectively outline that dream and decide what our society will look like. ... Tackling the climate crisis offers a profound opportunity to create better lives for people. We need to change the way we heat 27m homes and power our industries, take 40m petrol and diesel cars off the road and plant tens of thousands of hectares of trees every year. In other words, we need the biggest peacetime mobilisation of labour, land and investment we have ever seen.”
Climate apartheid is already a reality
UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston has warned about "climate apartheid" on a heating planet. Writer Gerolamo Fazzini Alston agrees in Avvenire:
“In a not too distant future discrimination will not only be about skin colour, it will also be about the ability to avoid the terrible consequences of climate change. In other words, the world will see a new phase shaped by 'climate-driven apartheid'. ... The issue, let's not forget, has long been on the agenda of the 'prophets of doom'. Now that the UN has more or less 'certified' it, we must really take heed. Let's hope that those who have more and are able to do more will commit to the fight against climate change when they understand the dangers of growing inequality. ”
Don't celebrate too soon!
The June heatwave hit Central Europe the worst. People in Portugal, on the other hand, are complaining about another miserable summer. But the climate crisis is a threat to be reckoned with, Nádia Piazza warns in TSF:
“The worst is yet to come! Thanks to our Azores and the good tradition of São João [the popular saying that the summer solstice is mostly chilly] Portugal was spared the heat and blessed with mild temperatures. But soaring temperatures are on our doorstep, according to the weather forecast. ... You can detect the alarming tone in my voice. Because we live in dangerous times and in a climate emergency. .. So we must be prepared, all of us.”
Waste no more time
The Estonian government must act now, demands Sander Jahilo, expert for sustainable production systems, in Postimees:
“Prime Minister Ratas should at least be respected for not doubting the human factor in climate change. As an intelligent politician he understands the value of looking to experts in areas outside his competence. In this case that means scientists, environmental organisations and authorities who inform us that climate change is largely man-made and that the changes are taking place at a devastating speed. ... We no longer have time to get angry at yesterday's short-sighted energy decisions. We must declare a climate emergency because we've already lost such a devastating amount of time.”