In the run up to the Madrid-based COP25 international climate talks set to begin in early December, former Director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s Energy and Environment program, Rebecca Bertram, conducted a series of interviews with Latin American officials and activists. In Part 1 of this series, Bertram met with Marlon Escoto, Presidential Delegate for Climate Change in Honduras to discuss the state of the nation’s preparedness, their needs and their hopes for the COP.
Accepting the truth about the climate and ecological emergency—and acting upon it—is the core message of Extinction Rebellion. Since April, through non-violent acts of civil disobedience, they have globally staged protests and street blockades. During October’s wave of action, Buchsbaum joined them in Berlin.
The Polish Church should join the conversation on ecology. It is not, as many church leaders believe, another threat to Christianity, but one of our greatest civilisational challenges. Michał Olszewski reports
Anyone looking for an example of how climate change is driving people to leave their homeland simply needs to look to Central America. Here, hundreds of thousands set out to find a future for themselves and their children in the United States. The effects of climate change are clearly visible not only on the agricultural sector but also on society and the economic development of this whole region. Especially in the countries of the so-called Northern Triangle – Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras – where about one third of the population lives from agriculture, climate change calls all official long-term development goals into question. No wonder people are starting to migrate north. Rebecca Bertram takes a look
How did a billionaire win over coal miners in Pennsylvania and West Virginia to become president? Three words: “Trump digs coal”. By linking deindustrialisation and the decline of working communities in America’s “rust belt” to environmental regulation, Donald Trump could paint his greener rivals as out of touch with the concerns of ordinary Americans. Never mind that climate change and pollution will hit working class people hardest – when it’s “jobs or the planet”, the former will always be a more immediate worry for the precarious and impoverished. Matt Perry reports for The Conversation
After months of deliberations, in late September Germany’s ruling coalition, made up of the center-right CDU/CSU and the Centrist SPD unveiled their new climate action strategy—to near universal disappointment. Now approved by the government, the plan’s architects hope a weak plan is better than none at all. L. Michael Buchsbaum summarizes
On a high-speed, zero-emissions vessel, Greta Thunberg arrived in the
U.S. from Europe on August 29 – a masterpiece of symbolism and PR savvy, the kind which by now we’ve come to expect from the Swedish teenager and her fellow activists in the Fridays for Future movement. In the space of just one short year, their audacious “school strikes” on Fridays have prompted a startling reality check among citizens and politicos in much of Europe and beyond, including German chancellor Angela Merkel – but, alas, not in the US. Paul Hockenos reports
Recent months have brought a series of signs of change on the horizon of Polish climate politics – some clearer than others. It is negligible how much such change is being forced by external circumstances and how much stems from genuine reflection. The climate crisis and its consequences are now so clear that the most hardened climate sceptics have been silenced. It is too soon to speak of an environmental breakthrough in Poland, but one can no longer definitively say that the right-wing remains completely indifferent to the ubiquitous signs of crisis. Michał Olszewski summarises the development.
As “we only have 12 years left” morphs into “11 years” because emissions keep rising, the question of whether benevolent dictators wouldn’t be better than sluggish, ineffective democracies is being posed more often. Will someone please tell people why democracy still matters? Craig Morris is searching for answers