Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker

  • The Anthropocene harms the planet
  • Lecture

At the 21st Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP21) in 2015, the 195 signatory states set lofty goals to curb climate change. Collectively, they wanted to prevent air temperatures on Earth from rising more than 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures, preferably no more than 1.5°Celsius. But in 2020 came the staggering realization that only 70 of the 195 signatory states had halfway achieved this goal.

Prof. Dr. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker considers in his book So Reicht das Nicht! Enlightenment, Foreign Policy and Affront. What the Climate Crisis Really Needs Now the often national measures and ideas of individual countries with great concern. He criticizes that the challenges today are far worse than they were 50 years ago. For him, what is needed now in terms of climate protection is, among other things, a climate foreign policy or a climate world policy, since many countries only think nationally and not globally when it comes to climate change. Furthermore, he calls for a new economy and enlightenment, so that the Anthropocene, the age shaped by man, no longer harms the planet.

Prof. Dr. von Weizsäcker is a physicist, former member of the German Bundestag and one of the pioneers of German environmental policy. Since 2009, he has been co-chair of the International Resource Panel of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). In 2012, he was awarded the Medal of Merit of the State of Baden-Württemberg.

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