A Sting Exclusive: “Climate Change needs to be demystified”, Anneli Jättenmäki Vice President of European Parliament underscores from Brussels

Anneli Jaatteenmaki European Parliament

Mrs Anneli Jattenmaki is the Vice President of the European Parliament

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mrs Anneli Jättenmäki, Vice President of European Parliament.

The EU has rightly been seen as paving the way for a global agreement on climate change. Good intentions have been translated into action during the past years.  The sense of urgency has certainly risen. Just ahead of COP21, almost every country has shown its willingness to tackle the issue.

In spite of all good intentions, climate negotiations are painfully complex and cumbersome. This does not surprise an expert but it creates a huge political challenge.

Scientifically, climate change is a very simple issue. We release too much carbon and other pollutants into the atmosphere, cut down forests that naturally regulate the carbon cycle, and raise too much animals. Simply put, we saw off the very branch we are sitting on.

When one tries to legislate to control these issues, the scientific clarity vaporises. Excessive carbon release becomes a side effect of economic development, forest clearance is justified by the need to grow food for growing populations and animal husbandry just satisfies the increasing protein demand of wealthier populations.

Most of us agree, at least privately, that these harmful practices should be minimised. Many of us are willing to say that aloud. But very few of us knows what is to be done.

If there were simple solutions, they would have been presented. Managing climate change consists of a multitude of small steps, taken one step at a time.

As human beings, we are quite unprepared to tackle overhanging non-imminent threats. We observe our surroundings on a very concrete level, generally minding ourselves and our closest ones.

To control climate and minimise our harmful actions is like conquering space. It is possible but requires one simple goal, cooperation of a large number of people, diversion of funds from other sources and a sense of urgency.

Unlike in the space race, the climate race should not be antagonistic. Should we not act decisively, almost everyone will be a loser. Yet, everybody wins if we succeed.

Let me conclude by a plea for clarity. Amidst the alphabet soup of BAUs, BINGOs, CBDRs, HFCs, MBMs, REDs and SCFs it is easy to get lost in detail. We have to clearly communicate why action is needed. Who does what and when?

The EU itself is notorious for policies that are well planned but poorly executed. To maintain her mental sanity, an optimist has to believe that climate communication is an ongoing learning process.

It has been delightful to note the recent change of attitude of many of the big players. Funds and insurance companies are now actively divesting from the fossil fuels industry.

They have made the calculations. They are looking far ahead, sending a clear message: do not invest in the past.

We politicians should reinforce that message in Paris and beyond. Tell people what they can do. Educate children, inform adults. Stop unsustainable practices. Keep it simple.

About the writer

Anneli Jaatteenmaki European ParliamentMrs Jättenmäki is a member of the European political group for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE). She holds the position of Vice President of the European Parliament and is a member of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. Further, Mrs Jättenmäki is a substitute member of the Committee of Foreign Affairs, Budgets and Security and Defence. Previously she held various top positions in Finnish politics as she served as Prime Minister in 2003 and Minister of Justice (1994-1995). VP Anneli Jättenmäki holds a Masters from the University of Helsinki.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Syria: Civilians caught in crossfire, UN refugee chief urges Jordan to open its border

Miguel Arias Cañete European Commission

EU should invest more in climate and not sit back on its laurels and watch

Partner countries get €3bn in loans to prop up economies affected by pandemic

Here are five tips to make your message clear in a crowded world

Autonomous vehicles could clog city centres: a lesson from Boston

Banks launch green charter to help shipping reduce its carbon footprint

What is a ‘vaccine passport’ and will you need one the next time you travel?

Migrants, asylum seekers detained in Hungary ‘deliberately deprived of food’: UN human rights office

A new approach to scaling-up renewable power in emerging markets

Think you’re safe at home? Think again. 5 household demons to be mindful about

Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon should be free to earn a living

Migration crisis update: mutual actions and solidarity needed as anti-migrant policies thrive

End ‘cycle of violence’ in Gaza, UN deputy chief tells forum on Palestine

Macro-Financial Assistance: Europe’s way to control Ukraine?

The UK’s River Thames has come back to life – with a seal population to prove it

Commission takes further action to ensure professionals can fully benefit from the Single Market

MEPs push for high ambitions at the COP25 in Madrid

Close to 7,000 evacuated from Syrian towns after enduring nearly 3-year siege

Coronavirus could trigger a hunger pandemic – unless urgent action is taken

Intensifying Negotiations on transatlantic Data Privacy Flows: A Joint Press Statement by European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo

5 Black heroes of the environmental movement

Why digital inclusion must be at the centre of resetting education in Africa

Here’s how we can rethink the way we eat meat

Europe’s richest regions actively seek investment from China’s biggest banks

A Union that strives for more: the first 100 days

Why rich countries are seeing more poverty

Mali just took a huge step towards universal healthcare

Can Europe and the US reverse their nationalist and xenophobic drift? Is the West becoming belligerent?

On the first day of 2019, over 395,000 babies to be born worldwide: UNICEF

3 ways business leaders can build digital trust

First EU collective redress mechanism to protect consumers

FROM THE FIELD: For refugees and migrants in Europe, healthcare’s essential but a challenge to find

GSMA head urges regulators to help Europe regain leadership

EU budget: Commission helps prepare new Cohesion programmes with Regional Competitiveness Index and Eurobarometer

A breath of fresh air: How three disused industrial areas became beautiful parks

New rules to help consumers join forces to seek compensation

Eurogroup: IMF proposes Germany disposes

Launch of Pact for Youth: European Youth Forum calls for real business engagement

We need to measure innovation better. Here’s how

Internet milestone reached, as more than 50 per cent go online: UN telecoms agency

Young activists share four ways to create a more inclusive world

ILO discusses world of work response to global refugee crisis

Tougher defence tools against unfair imports to protect EU jobs and industry

The EU Commission does nothing about the food retailing oligopoly

Do the giant banks ‘tell’ Britain to choose a good soft Brexit and ‘remain’ or else…?

Is Eurozone heading towards a long stagnation?

Euronest: delivering reforms is the best way forward for EU’s Eastern Partners

Gender equality and medicine in the 21st century: an equity unachieved

How we measure stakeholder capitalism will determine our recovery

The European Union’s Balkan Double Standard

Sustainable Development Summit: ‘We must step up our efforts – now’, Guterres declares

Is there a de facto impossibility for the Brexit to kick-start?

World Migratory Bird Day highlights deadly risks of plastic pollution

Migration surge leaves children stranded, begging on Djibouti’s streets

Cross-border cooperation: the EU Interreg programme celebrates 30 years of bringing citizens closer together

2,300 migrant children in Central American ‘caravan’ need protection, UNICEF says

Bringing nuclear test ban treaty into force a ‘central pillar’ of global disarmament push, says UN chief

HPV vaccine: the silver bullet that saves women

Are we at the edge of anti-vaccination health crisis?

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: #NoTobacco Day, China’s economy, family farming, #ClimateAction

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s