It’s no longer just about polar bears The struggle for climate justice 2015 was the year of the climate. The large summit that took place in Paris was held up as the last chance to save the world. In August, a fierce debate was sparked in Germany when more than 1,000 people trekked across the “lunar” landscape of the open-cast lignite mine in Garzweiler wearing white overalls. The Süddeutsche Zeitung argued that this new anti- coal movement was following in the not-so-small footsteps of the anti-nuclear movement. Throughout this period, reports were published in the media about floods and droughts, tornadoes and tsunamis, and extreme weather events, which, although not exclusively caused by climate change, have become far more likely because of it.
The year ended with a climate treaty that was celebrated as a historical event by a significant portion of the press and civil society. But the year also closed with the realization that, once again, we had experienced the warmest year since records began. In fact, nine out of the ten warmest years on record have occurred since the turn of the millennium. Clearly, then, time is of the essence: either we begin protecting the climate now, or we can forget about preventing climate change at all.