Fridays for Future Brandenburg
Corvin, you are the co-founder of the Fridays for Future chapter in Neuruppin and the FFF speaker for the state of Brandenburg. How are you fighting for climate protection during the pandemic?
Every crisis must be handled appropriately. So of course, we have changed our activities in accordance with the regulations and current measures. For instance, the largest online demonstration ever in Germany took place during the global climate strike on 24 April 2020. Many offline formats were moved online, where we are still able to reach people and inform them about their role in climate change and climate justice. The Internet offers us an opportunity to achieve a wide reach, especially compared to a small town like Neuruppin. It also provides an opportunity to shift our focus to the most affected people and areas (MAPA) and network internationally. Smaller more visible measures are still possible locally. Our protests and work continue, just in a different format.
In public discourse, parallels are often drawn between the coronavirus crisis and the climate crisis. Which experiences from the past year do you believe can be used to tackle the “knowledge-action gap” for better climate policy?
If there is one thing we have learned, it is that policy makers can actually take action if they want to. The pandemic has shown that they are prepared to invest a lot of money to fight off a serious threat. Conversely, however, this also means they evidently do not view the climate crisis as the threat that it is. It is essential that both crises are taken seriously without pitting them against each other. It appears people are unaware of the impact that the climate crisis will have. However, the data is clear and we can already see the impacts today. We currently have what may be our last opportunity to avert a global climate catastrophe. Policy makers must take scientific findings seriously and act accordingly instead of pursuing lobbyists’ interests. Right now, we have the chance to completely restructure our (economic) system as well, instead of returning to the old, problematic “normality.” We must seize this opportunity with determination.
What is needed from science and research in order to chart a social and climate-friendly path for the future?
In addition to further research on climate protection and adaption, we need research into the ways climate protection can be an attractive, lucrative option for countries and less financially privileged persons and how this can be implemented. Climate protection cannot be a privilege. The climate crisis is intersectional and must be solved as such. This means, for instance, that more FINTA* (Ed. women, intersex, non-binary, trans, agender persons), BIPoC (Ed. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), and MAPAs need to be included at all levels of research to provide the broadest possible spectrum of perspectives. These findings must also be appropriately communicated to broader society in a way that can be easily understood.
The interview took place in March 2021.