For many people dealing with climate change day in and day out, this is a dilemma: do you board a polluted plane to go to the climate summit in Egypt, or follow the summit remotely via live broadcasts and media?
For Greta Thunberg, flying is not an option anyway. The world’s most famous climate activist decided not to go to the Climate Summit in a different way this year. After the “chatter” that the previous summit in Glasgow was worth, the 19-year-old Swede did not trust this type of meeting. During a book launch in London, she described the upcoming summit, COP27, which is essentially a platform for “Greenwashing” and advocated a more radical approach.
Tens of thousands of people see it differently and go. Young actress Sarah Oy, for example, although she has mixed feelings about the trip. , but to make an impact you really have to be there. You can give people a nudge in the right direction, especially in personal conversations,” she says.
Professor Helen de Koninck of the Eindhoven University of Technology and a specialist in climate policy, after some hesitation also decided not to attend the summit in Egypt. Had it been to get to it by train, I think I would have kept a few days off my schedule anyway. “Because there is always a lot to do in a COP like this,” says de Koninck. If she had to give several presentations herself, she would go too, but the invitations were late. Meanwhile, the researcher said, she “spoiled” her schedule. “Anyway, I think ten times before I get on a plane.”
Scientists and aircraft manufacturers are busy developing electric aircraft.
De Coninck sees the advantages of personal communication. “I think the report from the IPCC (United Nations Climate Panel, ed.) that I collaborated on would have been better if we had been more together as authors.”
This was also confirmed by Representative Mohamed Shehim (PvdA), who will go to Egypt. “Coming together physically creates a certain dynamic.” He says it can’t be done remotely. It is precisely during the climate summit, Chahim notes, that agreements are made about sustainability. “For example, if we can agree internationally on how to produce sustainable steel, you’re talking about 8 percent of total carbon dioxide emissions.” Then the trip doesn’t make much or less slightly different according to him.
At the political level in The Hague, parties that view climate policy as futile are under the strongest criticism. MP Alexander Cobbs of PVV recently sarcastically asked during a debate whether Minister Rob Gettin (Climate) would go with the electric bike. Gettin said the Dutch delegation will travel in an environmentally friendly way on orange bikes.
Other parties feel uncomfortable when flying, but the top is important enough. “Many actions that are beneficial for the climate are also good for addressing the current energy crisis,” said VVD’s Silvio Erkins.
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