Small adjustments can give climate targets a "big swing"

Small adjustments can give climate targets a “big swing”

The new government must take a whole series of small and relatively inexpensive measures to tackle the climate problem. This sends society to a tipping point, where the transition to a sustainable lifestyle takes place much faster. a call For suchSocial tipping point –The ‘strategy’, signed by dozens of organizations, artists and scientists, ends up in the message box for Mariette Hammer’s information today.

Behind her are Urgenda, Fossielvrij NL, DRIFT Research Institute, Friday for Future, and Teachers for Climate, as well as dozens of other organizations. The list of nearly eighty individuals includes ex-CEO Peter Blume of Triodos Bank, actors Valdemar Torinstra and Tikla Reutten, composer Merlijn Twaalfhoven, Professors Vellinga, Piersma, Opschoor and Van den Dobbelsteen and writers Ramsey Nasr and Hanna Bervoets. And Maria Goos.

Take Biden, for example

For an “integrated strategic climate policy,” the Netherlands could take an example from US President Joe Biden’s plans, as stated in the letter to Hummer. Biden has included the Sunrise Social Movement in his climate policy and now wants to eliminate subsidies on fossil fuels and use that money to help citizens, businesses and organizations become more sustainable. The Netherlands should also go in this direction, according to the Social Tipping Point Alliance. We call on the new cabinet to adopt – as part of a new culture of governance and the organization of much-needed counter-power – citizen movements and the progressive forces of civil society as a vital part of democracy, as a vital part of achieving the Paris goal. ‘, The message said. Detective Hammer announced that he wants to discuss major and topical issues first.

The idea of ​​the social tipping point strategy is based on scientific research into changes in society. As the movement gains more mass, it becomes contagious and change accelerates, according to a recent study by the German Institute of Potsdam. All types of components for such an acceleration are already available, according to the letter addressed to Hummer. The rise of student strikes, for example, the growing call for pension funds to ban fossil fuels and the Amsterdam municipality’s decision to ban ads for fuel-hungry SUVs and cheap flights. For example, the latter, which is a relatively small scale, has piqued the interest of cities around the world. Artists also try to raise awareness of the climate through theater, visual art, or poems.

Give the dynamics a big swing

These types of phenomena are often separate from society and science. The government, with a relatively simple policy that does not require new technologies, can give that big swing, the Social Tipping Point Alliance believes. For example, by eliminating (indirect) subsidies on fossil fuels, introducing mandatory climate labels on products, incentivizing citizens’ initiatives for clean energy, taking up ad bans, and teaching more about climate change in schools.

According to the Potsdam Institute, such an accumulation of measures has a self-reinforcing effect and changes thinking about fossil production and pollution more rapidly. This is necessary because climate change is also accelerating. The same institute has conducted previous research into physical tipping points in climate. An example of this is melting ice caps. Once a certain point is exceeded, it cannot be stopped and melting causes the atmosphere to warm up irreversibly.

Social turning points can ensure that society remains at the forefront of material society. But the institute warns that the government must take the right measures. For example, if the government maintains fossil fuel subsidies, the impact of societal pressure on pension funds to exit polluted fuels could evaporate. On the other hand, if policy is aligned with forces from below, the flywheel could start to turn, according to the coalition.

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