"We declare that putting biodiversity on a path to recovery is a defining challenge of this decade" - the Kunming declaration published today has clear words - but where it counts, on the targets, it only "notes" calls for action - they're not part of any commitment.
It merely says: "Noting the call of many countries to protect and conserve 30 per cent of land and sea areas through well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures by 2030" ... which signals a critical lack of commitment for now.
And that after "Acknowledging with grave concern that the unprecedented and interrelated crises" of biodiversity loss, climate change, land & ocean degradation, pollution, risks to health & food security "pose an existential threat to our society, our culture, our prosperity".
Interesting to me is the reference to "ecological civilisation" in the title, a concept largely promoted up to now (as far as I can tell) by China - but a wording that interests me, raising profound questions, if it can be explained. We certainly need a culture of sustainability.
Full text of the declaration here:
Here's hoping that the final outcome of the Kunming process in early May 2022, after the 2nd part of these international negotiations has been completed, will be more decisive on targets. For science, it is a critical challenge to find ways to better quantify biosphere integrity.

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More from @W_Lucht

14 Oct
Here's why I did *not* sign the letter published today by a coalition of advisory councils to the government on a sustainability transition - despite having been involved from the beginning and having been invited to do so as a member of @umweltrat (which did not sign, either).
I had very much hoped that such a joint letter by top-level advisory bodies would happen: to emphasize that the time for further delay in the ecological and climate crisis is over. Politicians proclaim this decade to be one of decisions - but much remains to be done.
On the face of it, the letter reads nicely. Certainly a forceful appeal to politics?! But on 2nd reading - in my reading - there's a huge and problematic gap behind the words. Which is a problem.
Text: t1p.de/weba
Article at SZ (paywall): t1p.de/a679d
Read 18 tweets
3 Sep
1/n To conclude from the 🇩🇪 CO2 budget analysis & programmes of political parties that "1.5 is lost" is not a correct conclusion. Globally, 1.5 is still feasible, the world would have to be neutral by about 2050. It just means that Germany is lagging in its contribution.
2/n That is: lagging IF one measures the German contribution by population share. Some specialists question whether this is helpful, whether high-emitting nations should be held to such a standard when what really counts is the global outcome, to be fought for internationally.
3/n So the renewed discussion on a 🇩🇪 CO2 budget ceiling & what it means has elicited various responses & I'd like to particularly thank @CarlSchleussner for very good discussions. Carl is one of Germany's best experts not just on CO2 and rad. forcing but also on climate policy.
Read 22 tweets
2 Sep
And here is the most important figure from @elena_erdmann's article on @zeitonline. I hope I'm allowed to twitter it given that I am listed as a source. Go read zeit.de/wissen/umwelt/…
"Which CO2 budget do the party programmes correspond to?" Grey bars: CO2 budgets for 1.5 degrees with 50% and 67% likelihood, for equal emission rights per capita, from 2022. Purple: left party, green: green party, red: social democrats, black: conservatives, yellow: liberals.
The populist far-right does not believe climate change is a problem and plans on doing nothing. Budgets are computed from what the parties say - whether that is underpinned by actual measures is another matter. In the end, the only thing that counts is actual emissions avoided.
Read 4 tweets
26 Aug
Three comments on tonights's @ARDKontraste programme (btw, a lot gets filmed - here at least 20 minutes, going into many questions - and one never knows what short sentence ends up being used ...):
1) the team did a great job researching and computing CO2 budget numbers 1/3
2) They never mentioned to me that they'd end up suggesting prolonging nuclear, albeit just a few years.
3) Be aware that this is just what big energy aimed for: delay, cap, stifle renewables, then ask for prolonged operation by projecting shortages. A result of politics. 2/3
I am opposed to nuclear for many reasons, and don't wish to support the games of power companies. Note it can be repeated with coal, too. It's not decided, but being pushed. The next government will have to answer. 👉 CO2 budgets matter. And so much time was lost by delaying. 3/3
Read 4 tweets
25 Aug
@NeueOekonomie has published an analysis of the CO2 budgets implied by the platforms of German parties for the Sept. 26 general election, a decisive election for climate, and compared them with the budgets we advised the government on at @Umweltrat. 1/5 👉
konzeptwerk-neue-oekonomie.org/eine-wahlprogr… Image
Some comments: From my first reading, this is well done and well argued. The budget numbers are based on IPCC SR15. Updated to the new AR6, they would be slightly larger, particularly the 1.5/67% number: ~1.8 GtCO2. But that doesn't change the picture, the conclusions a lot. 2/5 Image
The reason for the larger change for 1.5/67% is the reduced uncertainty of climate sensitivity in the AR6, which narrows the corridor, moving the 67% value closer to the 50% value. The 50% values are only slightly higher in AR6 than in SR15. 3/5
Read 5 tweets
24 Aug
A little excursion: When I was a university student in the mid-1980s, on one of our bike tours along Germany's North Sea coast, we encountered the fabled "Growian", Germany's first large-scale wind turbine, for a time the world's largest - an experiment that failed spectacularly.
Growian (Große Windenergieanlage, Large Wind Energy Facility) was built for 3 MW. The generator in 100m height weighed 340 tons, the two rotor blades together almost 50 tons. Mistakes made in design and material meant it rarely was operational, and widely considered a failure.
I remember that at the time, many saw it as proof that wind energy is an illusion, a pipe dream. But of course the project suffered from all the hallmarks of big projects: centralised, unimaginative, power plays. The whole process did not find solutions to problems plaguing it.
Read 6 tweets

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