Sounder SIGN UP FOR FREE
Fusing Futures
Fusing Futures

Season 1, Episode 9 · 1 year ago

Zooming In and Zooming Out: From COVID Crisis to Climate Crisis and Back

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Since the outbreak of the pandemic started, stakeholders across the world have taken it seriously implementing different measures. But what about another ongoing crisis such as the climate one? What are some parallels between these two crises? Why do we need backcasting and call for evidence in planning future responses? To find out we talk to Damjan Bogunovic, Environmental Program Coordinator at the Heinrich Böll Foundation (Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo).

---

Follow us on Instagram @bos_podcast_fusingfutures and Twitter @FusingFutures and share your thoughts and comments.

#fusingfutures

#bospodcastFF

Although I truly admire the way thatthe world regrouped and responded to the covied nineteen crisis, it got methinking about all the other challenges we're facing, but not responding tothem in such an agile manner. Ta Li e to Petoup using futures light them up. Let's take climate change for example,or, as I prefer, the climate crisis. How do we go about this one? This is the topic of this episode ofour fusing futures podcast. I'm delighted to elcome a fellow member ofthe bochelona network, Mister Damin Bgonwich, who is working as EnvironmentProgram Coordinator at Hundrybell, Stiftung bellgrade office. We woke up in a world in which bordersare closed, airplanes, stop flying roads are empty in the world in whichare social and, to some extent, environmental ecosystems changed, andwe've instantly recognized this as a crisis. Most countries did at least andadjusted according me as fast as possible. The climate crisis is, asyou've said, or climb. At e emergency was put aside even the carp, the annualUND climate summit. That was supposed to happen in the UKs you know laterthis year was postponed. Coid nineteen was Deim a much greater emergency covee nineteen crisis and climatechange are apparently very much...

...connected, at least with this narrativethat has emerged the narrative of nature's revival or even in nature,striking back to humans. Although the news of nature is healingat the face of decreasing of human activities are pleasant, I must admitthat I find this narrative troublesome and annoying. So can you tell me alittle bit more? How do you see this narrative and what are its downsides,especially when we think about getting people on board with theenvironment, protection and related topics? The renewing of Nature or nativereviable is, in my view, in lick of a better word. Quite a naive narrative,the underlying idea is correct. Human activity is disturbing the balance inour planetary egosystems and we're close to a point of no retern, orrather a point in which the science at our disposal has no clear answers onwhat might happen. Such is the case of the planet. Warming more than twodegrees Celsius. TCIENCE cannot tell us with precision what will happen. Thenthere are too many variables in the climate system. Now the underlyingideas- correct, aur ecosystems- are often out of balance, but this ideathat nature is somehow fighting back in a mystical way he's taking the agencyfrom US citizens and and people of the planet. It is a pacifizing discoursedid we need this to happen in order to see that we don't need to travel asmuch OA business? Did we really not know that we need less cars on thestreets and and more public transport and cycling lanes and pedestrian zonesanyways? Now that we have suddenly realized, and this rush of clean,unpolluted air has mystically appeared, the question is: What will we do aboutit? Can we think of ways of living in how many with the environment? If youwish, you already mentioned the response tothe COVID nineteen crisis. So what is...

...different here to the way that weapproach the crisis that we're talking about here, which is the climate crisis?Well, I would say that there are some very important parallels with Um between cobed crisis and the climatechange crisis. For example, much has been said about the disproportionateeffect that the pandenic has had on the vulnerable communities similar to thehipedemic in the United States. For example, the African Americancommunities were disproportionally affected. We can only read a bit about what is going on with theinformal settlements and Romar communities in the region. I would alsosay that there are some very important parallels with regard to knowledgeproduction and this science policy into rface. More broadly, I was very muchstruck by the by the speed with which science was translated into policy whenit comes to cobe nineteen, when it comes to climbate change, we have thescience, but translating science into policies and implementing thesepolicies is the problem. We often talk about evidence, base, decision, making,processes and and Bugit open school works on this as well. In the case of of Kobe nineteenpandemic, the crisis was immediately recognized as a crisis. By mostcountries, U K was slow to react and we didn't have a very specific answer, butthe understanding that we're facing a crisis was there. We did not knownearly enough about the virus, but our countries took all the precautionarymeasures when it comes to environmental problems and Clim ate t emergency. Thisis not the case and I think perhaps short termism is aproblem. We cannot see past the first quarter if we are a corporation or afour to five year period in case of a democratically electev government.Perhaps that is something very inite to people and to societies, or at leastare contemporary societies. I'm notten...

...reminded of th of a story of new college in Oxford.New College was founded in thirteen. Seventy nine. It is one of the oldesttoksbut colleges. It has like. Other Coleg is a great dining call with hugeoak beams across the top, and it was discovered that when coldwas founded, a grove of Oaks had Beng planted to replace the beans in thedining hall when they, when they become rotten, because obeams always become wrotgten in the end. This plan has then been passed down from one forester tothe next for for over five hundred years and at the same time, couple of centurieslater. Actually, most of T EURUPEAN forests were depleted, but hey at least.We know that the steed of sustainability had been planted. As you said, translating science intopolicy is taking a lot of time in the case of climate t change. The EuropeanUnion, however, seems to acknowledge this urgency, so the greeny new deal is EuropeanUnions, ambitious policy framework through which sustainability isaddressed from all sides, from economy to the environment. What is thesituation with the Green newdeal now? Is it affected by the Covin nineteencrisis and how could the green new deal contribute to the Post coved economicrecovery? The latest edition of The economist, aswe recording this on the twenty fifth of Ma, which is don lader Stil, used tobe in socialist Vaslavia. Well, the latest adition of the ECONOMIS came outa few days ago and on the cover, the message is seized the moment. In otherwords, the looming economic crisis will...

...provide an opportunity to rebuild theeconomy and when you're rebuilding house, you can introduce different newmeasures, for example new planting systems or energy officiency measuresor heat pumps for floor heating and so on, and there are many ways to insertsustainability elements or create sustainability, checks and balances. Ifyou wish, for example, governments loans to businesses could incorporatesustainability criteria, green energy development could be achance to reduce unemployment. For example. Green deal is as a broad framework fora just transition to a climate. Neutral susteemable economy is a very ambitiousproject. It remeains to be seen what kind of impact it will have and will itspark such a transition in the? U Neighborhoods, which I think is veryimportant with measures such as carbon border taxes or perhaps some other mechanisms, such as financial ones. I always wanted to transform myyardinto a little garden full of organic fruits and Medgies, but therewas never a perfect moment to start just to learn more about when it'sright time to plan those tomatoes or how much water Indo cucumbers need orhow to prepare the soil for those watermellows excuses, excuses and moreexcuses. Until one day, nature decided to giveme a great big lesson. You are never ready neugh. I will not forget that, may if twothousand and fourteen and Serpa battle to floggis aster, that heare, likeplanned on transforming into little Giland, was completely flooded and thewhole neighborhoo suffered from this major catastrophe. We falter thistogether only to learn that we will...

...never be prepared enough to facenaturally disastersai work with the higner bollfoundation and we work a lotwith rest foundation, climate policy, Relat issues we commonly come back to avery basic principle. You cannot manage what you don't measure we need tomeasure and analyze. First, for example, lookat air pollution, a huge percentageof the measuring stations, wo, not work. We need to to have a solid data basis,and then we can discuss ollutions. I would say that number one prior ity ispropadita and proper analysis definitely, and secondly, in order toachieve a ystenic change, winning Tha Strategy E. U, as a strategic goal,should provide a broad framework for improving the state of the environment,and the energy community should serve as a stepping stone on this path, but a clear strategy that will be developed from the inside iswhat's lacking, and this strategy needs to be developed by backcasting, notforecasting and I'll. Give you an example bomobility. In order to havecleaner, more functioning cities with less cars, we cannot forecast how muchparking spaces and roads we need, because an empirical evidence is prettyconvincing. You can never have enough cars and parking spaces. So what a citymeans is a vision. What kind of mobility do we wish to have in saytwenty years time, how many car...

...journeys, what percentage of bicycleusers et Cetera? And then we need a strategy? How do we get there withinthe given time? Fram? That is not the way that specialplanning works in Belgid, for example, and the effects can be felt by citizensjanned in their carse. Every day same is with Serbia and and neighboringcountries on on a broader scale. There has to bea vision of an energy sector, not based on Brown cal of the lowest possiblequality. Then there has to be a strategy. So far we haven't seen avision. There is just the framework of IINTEGRATION, which gives guidance theParis Agreement as well, of course, but the reason has to come from the insideand the strategy has to come in partnership with European partners.This transpormition needs to be a wholesome transpormation, asosyricological one. We need the trustponiton in everything from flooddefenses. We need the tronscomation in agriculture and an overall economy.Different successful solution exists all over Europe and it's just aboutfinding the right mix of policies and implementing them, implementing thempersistently and then evaluating them and adjusting were needed. Apparently, our reality and theproblems weare facing in the region are much more basic. So, let's take anexample of the floodings in thenty fourteen which heavily affected SerbianBosnia. We have missed the momentum to turn dat crisis into new policydevelopment for Building Climate Resilan society. That is an excellent example.Rebuilding after a crisis, gives us an opportunity to to rebuild in adifferent way, developments af, the devastating floods, intwo thousand andfourteen did not lead to a green new deal in the western Bulkins.Unfortunately, as we had previously...

...discussed, I believe we ought to seizethe moment and, after all, folsolpfeal based energies produceddistributed and charged almost entirely by public enterprises and should servethe public interest. However, this is not the case by openme or indirectlysupporting phorsel fuels, public authorities and an publicly ownedcompanies reproduce the economic state ISCO. Now that Stato quor is so heavilydisturbed. Perhaps we will get the chance to green the rebuilding of theeconomy. What we in the region need generally an not just imulation to thecrisis, is a very good institute, which is cool for evidence beforedesigning a policy of any sort. We have to see which solutions exist whichworked and so on. Then we need to Gob the policy based on this call and thenwait for it now comes the fun bit Valu, ite and adapt the policies were needed.For example, we could start by monotizing the externalities of theexisting coldbased enegy systems. Let's see how much it would all cost, eventhe most expensive solutions, even the best available technology, we're stillthrowing around unfounded arguments such as, if we don't use coll, we'll,have to use expensive, IMPORTA electricity instead of looking at thedata, while the decision makers in thisregion apparently keep their heads buried in coal in the face of theclimate crisis, there are some good examples of local and regionalinitiatives that do put sustainable development into practice. What aresome good examples that we already have in our neighborhood? We often look at the German example ofAnyr Trisition, although there are many...

...other ones in Europe which are nots asbrandeds. If you wish the most fabulous thing about the German and agiveent eis the percentage of citizens, initiatives and citizens becoming notonly consumers of renewable energy, but also produces citizens becomingprosumers. Now, similar things are happening inthe region and we are witnessing a certain development incrasia and in other places as well, includingServia. Um. Island of Kok is a fabulous example. Their vision is an energy,independent island and they're on a good path of achieving it through Um Energycorporative Um, we imbelgate are working with a promising newreformdenergy corperative ands and we're very hopeful about this as well. Finally, what is your keytake from thisepisode for lighting up our listeners? We are living the hard lessons learnedby many cities, many countries, many societies before us. We can try andleap frog avoid the mistakes made by othersfusing futures lihe them up isBelgred, open schools or the apart gast Bos, alumni Damin, bunowitch garden, aboilage yelling, a shappage and myself Orna pantage took part in making thisepisode. Alexarachich and Markomitrich supported us by designing the sound andaudio effects. If you enjoye this episode, please donot forget to plick subscribe at theapple podgest or any otherapplication. You used to listen to...

...bodcasts for more updids. Follow US aninstrogram and twetter.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (10)