COP 26 – Part 2

In Alena Burmeister’s geography class, grade 10 has been working extensively on the UN Climate Change Conference 2021. We would like to share some of their contributions with you here.


COP26 – …thanks for showing up, I guess

At another lengthy event, the 26th Conference of the parties, the UN’s climate change prevention unit, the same thing that has been happening for the past 26 (26? Really?) years occurred. More people who won’t be there when the effects of climate change come to pass,sat around and talked about it after taking flights from all over the world and will soon be flying back with the same planes that they criticise. And as people who will actually be there, we deserve the first-class hotels and a worldwide audience.

Professor Johan Rockström gave us a lovely presentation with “new” insights. Quite surprisingly, there are actually risks to climate change and eating meat sucks. However, he does believe that 1.7 degrees is still possible and is a factor that is usually forgotten due to the paranoia and hysteria around combatting climate change. He also points out that carbon reductions should be just, meaning the 1% that produce the most carbon dioxide should reduce their emissions by a factor 30, while the poorest 50% can increase them by a factor 3 to level out the playing field when it comes to living conditions and development. The last point he mentions is that the costs of stopping climate change are justified by the benefits towards the health of humans and nature.

Eventhough we appreciate the participation of the most developed countries, the lack of sincerity in the actions that should be taken is frustrating. 26 is a long time to be talking and still being on the same trajectory, but thanks for showing up, I guess. Maybe try actually doing something next time.

David Attenborough narrates the conjunction between nature and human consumption. “We need to value the services that the healthy forests can provide.” Clearly, world leaders aren’t getting the memo. They would do anything, no matter the consequences or damages that nature would have to deal with. Maybe they should be taking notes from ethnic countries that care about nature and have a mutual respect for it. We can only move forward from here. We need to be selfless enough and let nature do its thing.

As much as we appreciate the vegans, let’s not forget that we are dying.

Natasha und Hannes, class 10

 


 

The death of our world is creeping up on us

The death of our world is creeping up on us. Is there any chance we could stop that from happening? Prof. Johan Rockström, talking at the COP26, shows us what we can change to end up with a different result concerning the climate. He gives an overview of a report outlining 10 new insights on climate science at the UN Climate Change Conference 2021. The main goal is to stabilize global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, but due to the rapid growth in methane and nitrous oxide emissions the earth is rapidly heading towards 2.7 degrees Celsius. Because of the worlds immense warmth there are many so-called “Megafires” that reach new dimensions with extreme impacts. The climate tipping elements incur high-impact risks. Global climate actions must be supported by richer countries, who can actually have the power to change something.

An overlooked opportunity for climate action are the changes in household behaviors, though they are one of the most crucial. Political challenges impede the effectiveness of carbon pricing and only 61 countries utilize it, but this is not enough.

To pave the path to the Paris accord, nature-based solutions are critical, but an opportunity with a fine print. Many countries are not acting because of the risk of economic loss.

What we need to build up resilience of marine ecosystems is achievable by climate-adapted conversations and banning of overfishing, which counts for 33% of marine destruction To fulfill his insights, he mentions the costs of climate change mitigation to benefit of mankind and nature.

A thousand years ago, there were one trillion trees on earth. The world has changed and so has people’s attitude towards nature. The people of today realize too late what they are doing to nature. We humans destroy huge amounts of biodiverse ecosystems by cutting down trees, though it only hurts everyone. Many people died prematurely because of the air pollution. The economy of many countries is largely reliant on these forests. It is still said that they don’t have any economic value. Trees provide clean air, fresh water, a healthy food system, the basis of tradition for many indigenous peoples and are the only source of money for others. And yet… and yet people ruthlessly destroy them for mass agriculture, which is used to then further global warming.

The world is dying, everything will be lifeless if we don‘t do something NOW. To avoid this catastrophe, we have to live greener, we have to change our lifestyles. Use public transport instead of using our own car always, so that we don’t produce too much CO2. Recycle used things instead of producing trash and burning it, this pollutes the air. We need you to live as aware of the climate and its value as possible. It may not look like a lot, but everyone can do their part. If multiple billion people do something about climate change, we can stop it. We need to stop this issue before we ruin the earth irreversibly. We haven’t respected nature and Mother Earth enough and should start changing things AT THIS MOMENT. Science proves it, we can see it, we caused it so we should change it.

Amelie, Lana, Ahana, class 10

 


 
COP26: Forest and Land-use

Imagine, since humanity has taken its on earth we have lost more than 50% of the worlds trees and everyday the number continues to rise.

Many more devastating facts regarding our actions against nature were mentioned during this weeks climate conference, the COP26. This conference started off with professor Johan Rockström giving us a brief scan of insights about our present situation regarding climate change. These facts will most likely shock you as much as they shocked us.

The first insight Rockström gives us is the insight about stabilizing the earths increase of temperature of 1.5 degrees by the end of this century. He mentions that immediate actions are required to reach this goal. 1.5 degrees might not seem that much to you. But each year we see and feel the consequences of the rise in temperature. No human should have to endure more pain in the future, thats why we need to take action on a global scale immediately.

The rise of temperature is partially due to the rapidly growing output of methane. This is a tricky situation. 60% of the methane exhaust on this planet is caused by human activities. Of course we need food to survive and methane is mainly produced by farm animals that we keep and breed for our own consumption. A balance has to be found. This, for example, was the the eight point by Professor Rockström.

He makes a point that nature based solutions are a must and are the most stable as they work in harmony with our environment. Therefore, conservation is also important. As we know animals play a huge role in the earth’s ecosystem. Therefore, they have to be preserved.

By removing trees in forests on a daily basis for our own agriculture, and wildfires removing even more trees due to the constant rise of the earth’s temperature and climate, animals and insects are losing their homes because of our won selfishness. We have been given exactly

one decade to solve this issue. Any later, and we could lose all hope of saving our planet. We must grasp our chance now, while we still have it and change our habits.

These measures should be approached in a just and fair manner. A point brought in by David Attenborough strengthens this statement. He suggests working together with indigenous people and empowering them to find long lasting solutions together. Not only that but huge organizations need to start raising funds for solution like these. Organizations aren’t the only ones that can fight climate change. The 6th insight mentioned by professor Rockström talks about how each human needs to change minor things in their everyday household. Even, just a small action made by every single human on earth can result in major positive outcomes. It is an easy way to achieve our set goal for the future.

By achieving our goal we will not only save our planet, our home, but changes to the earth’s climate automatically results to positive outcomes regarding human health.

Let us restore the natural world before it is too late!


Albert, Kris, Luca und William, class 10

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