Dresden. The German Federal Foundation for the Environment considers fatalism in times of climate change for a completely wrong signal. “There is never a ‘too late’ when it comes to climate protection. But the less we do, the more serious the crisis becomes,” said Secretary General Alexander Bonde of the German Press Agency. Climate change with its consequences such as extreme weather and drought have massive effects on people, the environment and even the economy. “The thesis that climate protection is too expensive is therefore simply absurd. No climate protection is much more expensive.”
Bonde believes it is possible that the point of no return will be reached in the not too distant future for individual goals such as limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees by 2100. But even every tenth of the reduction makes an immense difference and decides on the life prospects of millions of people. “Every step we take now is important and better than doing nothing. But it is also clear that we have to do as much as possible and as quickly as possible.”
Greater efforts needed
Bonde added: “Our efforts are far from where the scientific recommendations indicate. This frustrates young people just as much as old people, but also the economy. I find it interesting how this topic has already reached important economic players. Sometimes you get the impression that the financial market has analyzed the situation better than some politicians,” said Bonde. The entire population is rightly concerned that it is acting too slowly and hesitantly when it comes to climate protection.
“The scientific evidence is clear. What we’re seeing right now is just the beginning of the impact,” Bonde said. There is consensus in research about the causes of climate change. It was brought about by people themselves. After all, you still have it in your own hands to limit the extent. However, the steps taken so far are not big enough. “One often gets the impression that politicians intervene in other crises, but not in the climate crisis. That irritates a lot of people.”
Bonde also commented on the protest behavior of young climate activists. “All are well advised to choose methods consistent with the rule of law and democratic discourse. I’m not a fan of street blockades or sticking in museums. My fear is that such actions will tend to fuel the discussion about the nature of the protest. We need to talk about what we need to do about climate change.”
According to Bonde, the Fridays for Future actors have achieved a lot. “You have decisively advanced the debate.” The frustration of many young people results from the realization that previous measures are not sufficient. It is therefore completely legitimate if they stick to this topic – participate in specific projects or shake up politics. “The climate movement needs different actors if we want to reach our goal. As a foundation, we are active in solving specific problems with projects.”
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According to Bonde, Germany would be well-advised not to rest on its laurels when it comes to environmental standards and a high level of environmental awareness. Important things have been initiated in terms of climate protection. “But I also see how quickly we are being overtaken by others when it comes to issues such as mobility or raw material cycles. We have to make significant gains there, otherwise we’ll be overwhelmed. We gave up our leading position in the field of renewable energies without necessity. We must not make this mistake again.”