Activists of the climate group "Extinction Rebellion" in Berlin on June 15th
Photo: Tobias Schwarz / AFP / Getty Images
It's quite a strange choreography, where you can watch science, politics and industry in an endless loop. Science announces worrying findings, politicians react far too late with far too small measures and industry then complains about them anyway. So science has yet to make more worrying discoveries, and so it goes on and on. The reliable sequence is, if you will, a neatly rehearsed cha-cha-cha. Cha - warn, cha - doze, cha - maul.
This could just be observed again with the example of the climate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change comes as a shock: if the global climate warms by two degrees, an additional 420 million people will be exposed to the risk of heat waves. By the year 2050, eight to eighty million people will also run the risk of going hungry - depending on how high the greenhouse gas emissions will be. Even if these should decline, the collapse of entire ecosystems, water and food shortages and the spread of diseases will increase ever faster. What the researchers also write: The earth can recover from all this, but humans cannot. Every “fraction of a degree of warming” counts to avert the worst. Cha!
Shortly afterwards, the German federal government - forced by the Federal Constitutional Court - passed its new climate protection law: climate neutrality as early as 2045 instead of 2050, by 2030 CO2 emissions should decrease by 1990 percent compared to 65 instead of 55 percent. And all sectors are given binding targets, which so far only existed until 2030. Former Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks reminisces about the resolution of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and lets herself be carried away by the sentence: “We have made history and we will make the future out of it. "
Why then does climate researcher Mojib Latif call it a “Larifari law” anyway? Because the changes required for this would be enormous, but the changes that have actually been made are tiny. The coal phase-out would have to take place by 2030, but is only planned for 2038. Renewable energies would have to be expanded much faster than now decided. The CO2 price for transport and buildings would have to be 100 euros, but is currently only a quarter of that. By 2026, it should only climb to 55 to 65 euros. There is no end date for the internal combustion engine. Industry dreams of “green” hydrogen, but nobody knows where it will come from. And animal populations would also have to shrink to meet the climate targets, but the government didn't even want to discuss that. Cha. Still, the industry starts to moan: "Excessive regulation and a culture of prohibition" are incompatible with the social market economy, criticizes Siegfried Russwurm, President of the Federation of German Industries. It's all going too fast for him; If so, he would like public money to flow into the infrastructure as quickly as possible. Hans Jürgen Kerkhoff, President of the Steel Federation, thinks the law is too hasty, demands more money from the Federal Environment Ministry and ensures competitiveness. Cha!
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was founded in 1988, and in 1990 it published its first status report. Even then he warned: If one wanted to avoid a rise in temperature, emissions would have to be reduced by sixty percent immediately. “The time bomb is ticking,” said British marine biologist and lead author John Woods at the time. That was more than thirty years ago. And two, three, Cha-Cha-Cha!