Most people end the year with an overview of meaningful events and achievements of the past year, while setting new goals for the new year. Therefore, I will make this post similar.
First of all, at the moment of writing the climate change conference, COP24, is going on in Katowice, which I will write on further on, and where I wrote on already in my previous posts. Maybe I am appointing to much attention to this event, but I have to.
Window of Opportunity
The COP24 is this kind of ‘end of the year’ point, moreover, it is this kind of point in history in which the political leaders and climate change related organisations, scientists, but even civil society and lots of individuals are looking back and forward.
It is the moment to look back at the previous climate change related actions, both mitigation and adaptation measures; to look back at the commitments made in Paris, and at what countries have been doing so far.
And it is more than ever the moment to look forward, to have a look at where we are heading to within the current made commitments, and the current state of global warming.
Today is the perfect day to do so, because we are still living in this window of opportunity, albeit it is getting smaller, but we are.
From Tokyo to Rio, from Reality-Check to Hope
My previous journey took me from Tokyo to Rio to have a look at what cities are doing with regards to sustainable city development, and how they are already facing the consequences of our polluted world.
It was a journey of the good of the bad, of the hopes and of the reality-check; which you can read in detail in my blogposts and articles on From Tokyo to Rio. It made me realise that we have to act now, that we can construct today the future, and if not, we mess up a great opportunity to do so.
The good thing is, there are so many people and institutions, scientists and universiteits, local politicians and bigger leaders motivated and dedicated to step up for the better. There are so many measures, technologies and strategies out there already. I’m sure the quest to a better planet is not entirely impossible; and the faster we act, the less difficult it will be.
Central America, a Future Created in the Past
The years before I spent in Central America, having a look at their energy transition as such. Some countries show bold leadership, show that there is a way out of fossil fuels, and even beyond, banning plastic bags, or putting an effort with regards to other sustainability projects.
Nevertheless, at least two key lessons should be learned out of that story. First of all, an energy transition cannot be sustainable if it does not respect the human rights of all people involved. Secondly, the importance of getting everyone on board is crucial, and moreover, the involvement and knowledge of indigenous people – in Central America, but wider in the entire world – can make a real difference, and should be included.
Back on Track
With this knowledge and lessons in my head, I’m heading back on the road. Albeit, I cannot tell you where the road will take me, as the stories will shape it. I know where I will write on, where I am looking for, the questions I have, but not the answers I will receive, the truth I will face, nor how big the gap will be between reality and hope. The planet is not a fixed entity, nor are we; so a lot of things might change or might not. Let’s see.
Therefore, I want to report on this window of opportunity, on the good practices that are out there, the challenges of climate change, and the room for improvement,
We don’t have to accept yet Damocles’ sword above our head, but we have to cooperate all and do what we can to avoid it from comming down. I know we can.