The 1.5-degree-report of the world climate Council, which was published in the autumn, has made it clear once again: If we want to stop the climate crisis, we need to hurry and we need our way of life fundamentally change. Can we do that? Yes, says Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for climate impact research. A plea for optimism in times of climate crisis.

The Good thing about climate change is that it is man-made. He is increasingly extreme events – alone 2018, the devastating forest fires in California, hurricane Michael in Mexico, heat, and floods in Japan, the strongest monsoon in India since half a century. But he himself is not a natural disaster. Unlike an earthquake, you can only prepare as well as possible, the climate change actually stop us.

of Course you can draw dark and, unfortunately, correctly, that the coming year will likely bring dangerous weather extremes. The emissions of greenhouse gases are increasing. New temperature records will be recorded. But with all the Negative global warming is, in my view, the fundamental Positive: We have it in our hands how our future and that of our children looks like.

Only cynics deny the chances of

The new year offers the Chance to change the world. Anyone who denies that is just a cynic. Scientific research and technological Innovation progressing in half with giant steps – we know what we must do if we want to stabilize our climate take effect, namely: by 2030, our emissions of greenhouse gases.

We also know how to create the is: through the Expansion of renewable energies, which have long been economically as well as fossil energies, at least if you calculated the cost of the damage to the environment and health. With a healthy diet instead of cheap meat. With high-reach, affordable electric cars, where the industry is already intense. The turn to sustainable growth is possible.

in order To make this change, it is necessary to courageous Action. The opportunity is there. Already at the beginning of February, the Federal government appointed coal Commission will present its recommendations. You can point the way out of the coal and into clean technologies. Here, too, the cynics can argue: Maybe the panel decides only in part, and in the end, the energy companies billions of taxpayers will get for an exit plan for the stabilization of our climate is much too slow.

best coal Commission

Maybe. But the world is watching the coal Commission. It was also during the UN climate summit in Katowice, Poland, shortly before Christmas, significantly: Germany may be for other coal producing countries really a good role model. We act decisively, the others do also, and the Benefits have at the end of all of us.

Katowice has advocated a merger of the many ambitious countries – the so-called High Ambition Coalition with France, Germany, even many EU States, but also Canada and Costa Rica, for a readjustment of the existing plans for reducing emissions. If these countries also address the 2019, far beyond the German coal Commission, that may cause a lot. The rule book, the power emissions and thus also the efforts to reduce the global comparability, it was decided at the UN summit. Here, too, so The possibilities are there.

of Course, two presidents who want to plunder without regard to the Morning, resources, and research ignore the rule in the USA and soon also in Brazil. But the greatest part of the world – China and India, the EU, anyway – is on a different path.

we Do!

climate economist Ottmar Edenhofer (with the Potsdam Institute guide) jointly propose to I long a CO2 minimum price. If a pioneering coalition introduced in Europe where the revenue should be fairly given to the people – for example through tax cuts or investment in infrastructure or even by Christmas checks – then this System could be added to the emissions trading elsewhere link to, for example, in China and California, the taken for, after all, is the fifth-largest economy in the world.

All these possibilities we can use. But we must do it also. In my homeland of Sweden, the textbooks need to be rewritten, because the highest-and ice-covered summit is melted by the summer’s record heat, like there was in Germany, something and the amount of lost. He is only the second highest peak.

This is not a Drama. But it shows that Our Actions are determined, what is in the textbooks and in the history books of tomorrow. There are, in Germany and in Europe have launched in 2019, the climate turning point? We can do it! Our children will be proud of us.