On 29th nov. 2019 the 4th global climate strike of FridaysForFuture took place, with demonstrations in more than 150 countries. In Germany , about 630,000 people took to the streets in 519 cities under the slogan #NeustartKlima, urging the federal government to meet the 1.5°C target of the Paris Climate Agreement. In Braunschweig there were about 4,000 participants, pupils, students, trainees, parents, labour unions, scientists, pensioners, who gathered at 14:30 at the “Schlossplatz”. There were several speeches, the climate song “Do it Now!” was sung together with the support of several Braunschweig choirs and afterwards the demonstration went through the city centre of BS with self-painted posters, banners and lively slogans. Back at the “Schlossplatz”, the final rally was held and Fabian Römer plus band performed at the end.
An all-round successful event, which was once again excellently organized by the many pupils and students of FridaysForFuture!
Here´s the speech of the The Scientists4Future Braunschweig, who support the claims of FridaysForFuture of a coal exit until 2030 and to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emission and 100% renewable energies until 2035:
Science has shown the effects of greenhouse gas emissions for decades and yet the CO2 concentration increases annually by about 2.5 ppm. The pre-industrial concentration was about 280 ppm, at my birthday in 1976 it was already 330 ppm and today, in November 2019, we have 410 ppm.
It is essential to avoid exceeding the various tipping points of the climate system, otherwise a cascade of self-reinforcing feedback effects would result in an uncontrollable and unstoppable rise in temperature, with all the associated catastrophic consequences for humanity and ecosystems. The latest IPCC Special Report “1.5° Global Warming” (2018), published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has highlighted the danger of uncontrollable feedback effects and the effects on humanity and ecosystems beyond 1.5°C. The IPCC has also published a report on the impact of global warming on the climate:
Thawing of methane hydrates in permafrost soils and shelf seas, ice-Albedo feedback, accelerated sea-level rise, tipping point West Antarctica, decline in sea-ice formation – which is the motor for the system of ocean currents, the “Earth’s circulatory system”, Oxygen deficiency in the deep sea and spread of anoxic zones, displacement of climate zones, more frequent extreme weather events, desertification, collapse of food production, ocean acidification, changes of species composition, degradation or even danger of collapse of entire ecosystems.
The decline of coral reefs through ever more frequent, intense and widespread heatwaves is already in progress and we face the great risk of losing this fascinating and biodiverse ecosystem forever should the global average temperature rise by more than 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels.
We are indeed at the beginning of a new mass extinction event, as can be seen in the latest IPBES report of May 2019. The problem is that we – as individuals, as humans – do not directly experience or feel this, because we practically live in “slow motion”, because our own life span is shorter than the blink of an eye compared to geological time scales. These changes are already so serious today, valuable time has been wasted in the past fighting the climate crisis, so that immediate action is now required. Indeed, as Greta Thunberg pointed out, “our house is on fire” and we need to do something about it as soon as possible.
However, the german Bundesregierung refuses to do so. It repeatedly fails to meet its own climate targets. It does not even act in accordance with the expert assessments which it itself commissioned. Their “climate package” is not only inadequate, no, actually it thwarts it and virtually prevents the necessary, rapid energy transition towards a full supply of renewable energies and away from the burning of fossil fuels.
The Scientists4Future Braunschweig expressly support FridaysForFuture’s demands that Germany comply with its contribution to the Paris Climate Protection Agreement:
- Net zero greenhouse gas emissions until 2035
- Coal exit until 2030
- 100% renewable energies until 2035
Further, FridaysForFuture demand until the end of 2019 – until then there´s still one month left.
- The end of fossil fuel subsidies
- Shut down of 1/4 of the coal power
- A tax on all greenhouse gas emissions.
These requirements are necessary, can be realistically implemented and correspond to the state of science in order to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5°C. The 23-page paper “Eckpunkte für das Klimaschutzprogramm 2030“, called “Klimapaket“, does not correspond to this objective in any way:
- Instead of a CO2 tax on all greenhouse gas emissions, designed in a social way, which is urged by FridaysForFuture, resulting in an effective pricing of greenhouse gases – e.g. with equal redistribution to the population in the form of a climate dividend – the Federal Government of germany is relying on a completely inadequate, ineffective and too late emissions trading system, which will have no steering effect at all in its current form.
- The current 46 billion € in direct and indirect subsidies FOR Fossil Energies, i.e. their preferential treatment with taxpayers’ money, is not touched at all in this “Klimapaket“.
- The urgently needed expansion of renewable energies, on the other hand, will be further hampered by additional requirements, for example for wind energy. Between 2016 and 2018, 21,000 jobs have already been lost here. There is a danger that wind energy will suffer the same fate as the german solar energy sector, in which some 80,000 jobs have been lost as a result of major changes in the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), especially in 2012. These changes in the EEG have led to stagnation of the relatively dynamic transformation of the energy system until 2013 due to various mechanisms.
The Scientists4Future germany declare:
“Scientists horrified at the despondency of the `Klimapaket´
Federal government ignores scientific findings on climate crisis“.
Here in Braunschweig the Scientists4Future support the call of FridaysForFuture Braunschweig that Braunschweig, like thousands of other cities worldwide and yesterday even the European Parliament, must declare the “climate emergency“. Unfortunately, a corresponding motion was rejected in may of this year by the city council of Braunschweig. This rejection should urgently be reconsidered. Braunschweig must be a pioneer on the way to a sustainable city. The claim paper of FridaysForFuture Braunschweig offers a very good and well-founded guideline for this.
We Scientists4Future will continue to demonstrate with the pupils, students, trainees, older generations and various social groups and we promise to extend our protest even further. Until the German federal government and the city council of Braunschweig implement appropriate climate protection measures that meet the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.”