All posts tagged: climate change

Deutsche Welle interview: What needs to happen for climate action to succeed?

I got a chance to be interviewed by Deutsche Welle on the upcoming #RiseforClimate mobilisations and the ongoing UNFCCC talks: Recent extreme weather events have been the final straw for the public. “Political leaders like [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel and [French President Emmanuel] Macron say they care for the environment, but they don’t act consequently,” Renee Karunungan, Europe media campaigner with 350.org, told DW. It’s time to show them who’s really taking action, she added.  Yet countries are still providing subsidies for fossil fuels. European financial instruments and public banks subsidize gas and oil production to the tune of more than €3 billion ($3.5 billion) per year. The powerful fossil fuel lobby is accused of exerting influence over governments — it’s considered a main reason for governments’ apparent lack of political will to take strong action to protect the climate. If a binding treaty did do that, “[countries] will simply pull out of it, like the United States did,” Karunungan said. But people power could make the difference — after all; politicians depend on people to get elected. People must become “citizen lobbyists,” in …

Heatwaves in Europe, Flooding in Asia — The new normal?

The world is experiencing extreme events and it is no doubt connected to climate change. Right now Europe is enduring an extreme heatwave that experts say is contributing to the tragic wildfires in Greece where 79 people have died according to the latest from state officials. From the Mediterranean to the Arctic Circle unseasonably dry weather and high temperatures are hitting home – the incidence of forest fires alone is 43% above the seasonal average for the region. Sweden is calling for international support to battle several devastating wildfires that threaten to spread out of control as even the northernmost European states experience unprecedented conflagration. In the United Kingdom and across Europe deadly heatwaves have made temperatures reach 32 degrees Celsius. According to the UK MP’s this may be the new normal for the UK, with summer temperatures regularly reach 38.5C by the 2040s. Climate scientists including Myles Allen from the University of Oxford says that this heatwave in Europe is undoubtedly due to “human influence on climate” – the impacts of burning fossil fuels are here, now. In a statement, Nicolo Wojewoda, 350.org …

Ireland first country to divest from fossil fuels

The Irish parliament has passed the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill last July 12, making Ireland the world’s first country to divest from fossil fuels. The bill requires Ireland’s €8bn sovereign fund, the Irish Strategic Investment Fund, to drop all coal, oil, and gas investments within the next five years. The bill was proposed by TD Thomas Pringle who said in a statement: “The real effects of the Bill will be felt if other countries follow Ireland’s lead in sufficient numbers – this will help drive demand for low-fossil-fuel investments at a global level and potentially stimulate investment in renewable and sustainable alternatives.” Eamonn Meehan, executive director of Trocaire, an Irish environmental lobby that has pushed for the bill said that the decision was “vital” and sends a “powerful signal” to the community. He also said that, “the passing of this Bill is good news but has to mark a significant change of pace on the issue,” addressing Ireland’s lack of climate action. The country was ranked second-worst country in Europe in terms if climate action and GHG …

Festival Lampa 2018

I was invited to be part of Festival Lampa 2018 in Cesis, Latvia. The climate change stage was organised by Riga Technical University and Climate KIC-Latvia. I did my talk alongside Latvian journalists Sandra Kropa and Julius Sleiers and Canadian-Dutch journalist Bernice Notenboom. Most of my lecture was about evidence-based communication, and how facts don’t change people’s minds. Effective climate communication is touching o what is important for people, in different contexts, in different cultures.  It is also important that journalists are responsible in their reporting, which means taking the time to learn the science and its complexities. Here are some of my slides: The fun part was where we had our talk. It was in this amazing treehouse built especially for the event! The park also has a castle and the whole event was open to the public for free. On the other hand, the facilitation of the panel discussion could have been better. The facilitator kept coming back to questioning of climate change was man made, if we have the evidence for it. …

GIF: Five shared socio-economic pathways scenarios

As part of my internship, I was asked to do an animation of the five IPCC pathways scenarios. An explainer by Carbon Brief on these scenarios: Over the past few years, an international team of climate scientists, economists and energy systems modellers have built a range of new “pathways” that examine how global society, demographics and economics might change over the next century. They are collectively known as the “Shared Socioeconomic Pathways” (SSPs). These SSPs are now being used as important inputs for the latest climate models, feeding into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sixth assessment report due to be published in 2020-21. They are also being used to explore how societal choices will affect greenhouse gas emissions and, therefore, how the climate goals of the Paris Agreement could be met. The new SSPs offer five pathways that the world could take. Compared to previous scenarios, these offer a broader view of a “business as usual” world without future climate policy, with global warming in 2100 ranging from a low of 3.1C to a high of 5.1C …