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Climate-ABC: Contexts – Planetary Boundaries, ‘The Great Acceleration’.

In Anthropocene research, there is a model called “The Great Acceleration”. It is based on the results of the research program “The International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme” (IGBP) published in 2015, which evaluated data on socio-economic and ecological change from the period 1750-2000. It showed that these dynamics can be described by an increasing exponential curve since 1950 – hence the name of the model. It proves that human behavior is causing partly irreversible ecological changes that can endanger human existence on Earth in the long term.
Another concept is that of “Planetary Guardrails” or “Planetary Boundaries”. Johan Rockstöm et al. (2009) present a framework within which sustainable human action must operate. They refer to this space as “safe operating space for humanity” (Rockström 2009: 427). This is oriented around 9 ecological processes, each of which the researchers have defined a boundary that humanity cannot cross without causing dramatic consequences. As can be seen from the chart, anthropogenic changes have already caused the limits to be exceeded for three processes: Climate change, biodiversity loss, and the nitrogen cycle.

Rockström, Johan. “A safe operating space for humanity.” nature, 24 09 2009: 472-475.

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Climate-ABC: Yasuní-ITT-Initiative

In the area of the Yasuní National Park, oil extraction was to be abandoned in favor of climate protection and the indigenous population. As compensation, the international community was to pay half of the expected foreign exchange earnings into a compensation fund for 20 years (a total of 3.6 billion US dollars) as a sign of joint responsibility.
Contrary to what had previously been decided, Germany also refused to make the planned payments. The then Development Minister Dirk Niebel (FDP) justified the refusal in 2010 on the grounds that similar projects could be set up and these would also have to be financed.
Since not enough money was raised, Ecuador declared the initiative a failure in 2013. Three years later, drilling has begun.

Klimaretter. (n.d.). Yasuní-ITT-Initiative. Klimaretter.info. Retrieved 12 07, 2020, from http://www.klimaretter.info/tipps-klima-lexikon/121-x-y-z/9138-yasuni-itt-initiative

OroVerde – Die Tropenwaldstiftung. (2014, 06). Fakten & Positionen. Die Initiative Yasuni-ITT. https://www.regenwald-schuetzen.org/fileadmin/user_upload/pdf/Position/positionspapieroroverde-yasuni-itt.pdf

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Climate-ABC: X-Factor

Increasing resource productivity by the X factor describes sustainable development. In house building, for example, the X factor stands for particularly climate- and resource-friendly construction. The entire life cycle of the house is taken into account.

Harburg21. (n.d.). X-Faktor. Klimaportal der Lokalen Agenda 21 im Raum Harburg. Retrieved 12 07, 2020, from https://www.harburg21.de/de/klima/klima-abc/x/

faktor X agentur. (n.d.). Info. faktor X agentur. Retrieved 12 07, 2020, from https://www.faktor-x.info/

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Climate-ABC: Merchandise chains

The product reaches the consumer through a staged sequence of processes. The individual sections of the supply chain are interdependent. The relationships between the individual players are usually characterized by unequal power relations.

Christopher, M., 2011. Logistics & Supply Chain Management. 4th ed. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.

Johnson, T. E., Howard, M. & Miemczyk, J., 2014. Purchaising and Supply Chain Managment: A sustainability perspective. New York: Routledge.

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Climate-ABC: Transport

In 2018, the transport sector was responsible for 42.9% of nitrogen emissions. Motorized road traffic was responsible for the majority of this. On the one hand, more and more energy-efficient drive systems are being developed, but on the other hand, it is only possible to reduce emissions sufficiently if our mobility changes. To achieve this, it is important that more people switch to environmentally friendly alternatives and that traffic is reduced overall.

Umwelt Bundesamt. (2020, 06 09). Umweltbelastungen durch Verkehr. Umwelt Bundesamt. Retrieved 12 2020, 07, from https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/daten/verkehr/umweltbelastungen-durch-verkehr#verkehr-verbraucht-energie

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Climate-ABC: Environment

Our environment is often viewed separately from humans. However, the strict separation of nature and culture can be misleading. It is much more the case that people are part of their environment. If it is polluted, we, humanity, are not unaffected.

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Climate-ABC: Greenhouse Effect

This process begins, in simple terms, with the sun’s rays hitting the earth, causing the earth’s surface to heat up. The rays are in turn reflected by the earth, only to be partially absorbed by greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are found in our atmosphere. They allow heat to be stored by absorbing heat rays (like in a greenhouse). This is a natural process, but one that has been thrown out of balance by anthropogenic influences. Excess greenhouse gas emissions cause more heat to be absorbed. Thus, the temperature of our atmosphere rises and the earth warms. According to the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), halogenated hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) are greenhouse gases. The breakdown of greenhouse gas emissions produced in Germany in 2018 was 88.0 percent carbon dioxide, 6.1 percent methane, 4.1 percent nitrous oxide, and about 1.7 percent F-gases.

Umweltbundesamt. (2020, 10 01). Die Treibhausgase. Umweltbundesamt. Retrieved 12 07, 2020, from https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/themen/klima-energie/klimaschutz-energiepolitik-in-deutschland/treibhausgas-emissionen/die-treibhausgase

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Climate-ABC: Sustainable Development Goals

The goals can be summarized with the following points:

  • End poverty and hunger and fight inequalities.
  • Strengthen people’s self-determination, ensure gender equality and a good and healthy life for all
  • Promote prosperity for all and make lifestyles sustainable worldwide
  • Respect the Earth’s ecological limits: Combat climate change, conserve and sustainably use natural resources
  • Protecting human rights – ensuring peace, good governance and access to justice
  • Build a global partnership

Engagement Global. (2019). Was sind die 17 Ziele? Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung. 17Ziele. Retrieved 12 2020, 07, from https://17ziele.de/info/was-sind-die-17-ziele.html

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Climate-ABC: Rebound Effect

E-cars are an example for this. If the good conscience of driving an e-car leads people to switch from using a bicycle or public transport to using an e-car, this leads to more road traffic and increased energy consumption. Also, the costs and emissions of purchasing a new car can exceed the costs of occasionally driving a used car in combination with increased public transport and bicycle use.

Schulz, C. (2012). Zur Diskussion. Post-Wachstums-Ökonomien – (k)ein Thema für die Wirtschaftsgeographie? Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie, 56, S. 264-273.

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Climate-ABC: Parisian climate agreement

It is formally ratified by the EU since 2016. The agreement sets a long-term goal of limiting global warming to a temperature increase of 1.5°C. This goal is “without doubt extremely ambitious”, according to Greenpeace (2016), because too few effective climate protection measures are being implemented. The exit of the USA in November 2020 worsens the prospects of achieving this goal. However, this prospect is also clouded by the parties to the agreement. Germany, for example, threatens to miss its own climate targets and those of the Paris Accord.

Böhling, A., & Greenpeace. (2016, 02). Kurzanalyse „Was bedeutet das Pariser Abkommen für den Klimaschutz in Deutschland“?

Böhling, A., & Greenpeace. (2016, 02). Kurzanalyse „Was bedeutet das Pariser Abkommen für den Klimaschutz in Deutschland“?