All over Europe, people are rising up to fix climate breakdown – demanding urgent transformation to a fair, fossil free future. Communities, cities and people are at the forefront of building community-owned renewable energy, creating green jobs, and tackling energy poverty. Here is one such story from the frontlines of climate hope, from Ukraine. Susann Scherbarth reports for Friends of the Earth Europe
Despite the fact that the price of investment in onshore wind power is dropping massively as its efficiency surges, turbines are still unwanted in Poland. If it weren’t effectively blocked by unfavourable legal regulations, wind energy would create a chance to increase the importance of renewable energy sources. What is the reason for wind power’s bad image in Poland and who is suffering most as a result? Agata Skrzypczyk reports.
But there’s fight-back from the old guard – in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s own party – as well as from Europe’s so-called ‘frugal four’: Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark. Nevertheless, Merkel is going further than ever before in backing the European Green Deal, higher EU climate targets, and renewable energy across Europe. Paul Hockenos has the story.
In a long-awaited decision in mid-May, the German government announced it will soon lift restrictions on feed-in tariffs (FITs) for solar power, which would have crippled the sector. But why was the limit set at 52 GW in 2011, and what do we think that solar will ever be able to do without policy support? Craig Morris takes us back to the origins of a controversial policy that has been criticized for a long time.
In May, the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Environmental Action Germany (DUH), and Food and Water Europe organized online conferences entitled “Fracking, Plastics, Methane Emissions and the Gas Lobby” to better explain the connection between them and climate crisis. The first of the two drew upon startling new satellite data explained by globally renowned methane and fracking expert, Prof. Robert Howarth from Cornell University. In his presentation, he detailed how the ongoing fuel switch from coal to gas has likely worsened the overall climate. Other speakers, including two Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), several environmental attorneys, and other fracking activists discussed continuing gas lobbying efforts to “greenwash” uninformed MEPs and the general public. Now available for streaming, the first webinar-debate provided a welcome space for an informed discussion around fossil gas policies, many of which ignore established science in favor of economic and political expediency—our L. Michael Buchsbaum reviews.
The coronavirus hit the poor Central American country Honduras at the worst possible time during these hot and dry summer months. March and April in particular see almost no rainfall at all and rising temperatures turn many parts of the country into a breeding place for forest fires and dangerous fumes. This is particular ominous at the time of a deadly virus that attacks the lungs and reduces the oxygen intake of its victims. Rebecca Bertram reports
Michael Moore and Jeff Gibbs new movie, Planet of the Humans (POTH) serves to uncomfortably remind viewers that in many ways, despite our increased awareness of the growing biodiversity and climate crises, often our “environmental” and “sustainable” solutions, such as “natural” fossil gas, biomass and biofuels, have proven as bad or worse than the coal and petroleum they were intended to replace. Though the angry criticism from many within the community about some of the film’s flawed math is justified, the ensuing flurry of mainly negative media around the film has sadly resulted in diverting critical attention away from POTH’s otherwise vital questions about why, after half a century of environmental activism, we are still collectively failing. L. Michael Buchsbaum reviews where POTH is spot-on and laments where the filmmakers should have gone even further.