- September 15, 2021
Extreme temperatures of up to nearly 50 degrees Celsius in the Canadian province of British Columbia and in the U.S. states of Washington State, Oregon, California, Arizona, and Nevada have already claimed the lives of a triple-digit number of people this summer. Wildfires, droughts and water shortages are other devastating side effects of human-induced climate change, and not just on the northwest coast of the continental United States. It is a race against time to see if the international community can limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees compared to the pre-industrial era. The floods in western and southeastern Germany are a stark reminder of this. The recently published UN climate report warns that the earth could already have warmed by 1.5 degrees by 2030. According to the report, extreme weather and climate events will occur more frequently and with increased intensity over the next 30 years. But the IPCC report also emphasizes that there is still a “window of opportunity” toward a more positive climate path in the second half of the 21st century. How are the U.S. and Germany dealing with increasing climate disasters, and how well prepared are we for such crises in the first place? Is the Biden administration doing enough to address climate change domestically? Are there any convincing approaches in the political contest leading up to the German federal election that would represent substantial progress toward improved climate change policy? What puts the brakes on climate change more: a higher CO2 price or cross-sector emissions trading with certificates? What specific firm commitments does the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, need to deliver this November to make the most of the shrinking window of opportunity for a better climate path? Podcast hosts David Deißner, Atlantik-Brücke, and Stormy-Annika Mildner, Aspen Institute Germany, discuss these questions with Prof. Dr. Dr. Ortwin Renn, Scientific Director of the Institute for Transformative Sustainability Research (IASS) in Potsdam, and Alexandra Endres, freelance writer for Climate and Environment, ZEIT ONLINE. “America’s Choice – Der USA-Podcast” is a German-language podcast on U.S. politics, co-produced by the Aspen Institute Germany and the Atlantik-Brücke. The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and other platforms.