Can you imagine a future where children don’t know what seasons are and can’t eat our favourite fruits? Can you imagine polar bears, dolphins and birds as mere memories in museum exhibits? Everything that we take for granted – that is part of a chain ensuring our present and our future – is under threat. The recent pandemic made it glaringly and tragically obvious that humanity has to come together to respond to the major challenges we are all facing , and the climate crisis is definitely one of them. In a rapidly changing world, we need to respond to a climate and environmental crisis that is threatening not only human activities and health, but also ecosystems the world over, from the forests of Siberia and the Arctic to coral reefs, the forests of Australia, the Mediterranean and Greece.
I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.- Greta Thunberg, activist
2019 was the second-warmest year on record, and July was the warmest month of all time. The overheating of the Earth was perceptible in every corner of the planet that faced extreme natural disasters. With the scientific data now irrefutable and the climate-crisis scenarios worsening day by day, we hold the fate of our future in our hands. Our generation knows how to alter course and ensure we thrive, through the battles we must wage for nature and our health and security.
Arctic sea ice set the second lowest drop record.
Only in the first half of 2020, record temperatures were recorded with the temperature being 5oC higher than the regional average.
CO2 concentration was the highest recorded in human history and probably the highest in the last 3 million years
In recent years, humanity has witnessed extreme weather events and disasters that were unimaginable only five years earlier. The average temperature on the planet is 1.1°C higher than at the beginning of the industrial revolution, and it is rising every decade. What is to blame? The greenhouse gases produced by the burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity, intensive cattle farming and the destruction of natural ecosystems, including forests and the oceans, are perhaps the main culprits. Rather than learning from the mistakes of the past and abandoning all of the dirty habits that have brought the climate to the verge of collapse, the international community seems unable to react. The voluntary commitments made by states in the context of the Paris Agreement proved to be well short of the critical circumstances. Under the current commitments, the increase in the average temperature on the planet will exceed +3°C by the end of this century, which will take us into uncharted territory of rapid and extremely unpredictable impacts. We are the first generation who know this, and the last generation that can act.
The canary in the mine
The most sensitive ecosystems, such as coral reefs and the earth's poles, are like canaries in a coal mine, giving us a foretaste of the destructive consequences of the climate crisis. Because early coal mines had no safety systems, the first miners took caged canaries down into the mines with them. If the canaries got sick, it meant the miners had to leave quickly because there were harmful and dangerous gases in the air.
The forested areas that burn annually will increase by 41%
Extreme heatwaves that normally occur once every twenty years will increase by 173%
Heavy rainfall will increase by 10%
A 62% increase in forested areas burning annually
A 478% increase in extreme heatwaves
A 21% increase in heavy rainfall
In order to emerge from the climate and ecological crisis and stop human civilization and nature from collapsing around us, we need to take ambitious measures for the environment and a stable climate. We need to give up all the habits – such as fossil fuels – that are polluting and destroying the planet and set our sights on a clean future. This is why WWF Greece, based on the most up-to-date scientific data, is pressing governments to adopt ambitious policies for climate protection, for net zero-emissions economic activities, and for renewable energy production. We are proposing clean energy solutions, promoting specific alternative activities for economies that are dependent on coal, and fighting for climate justice.
Theory of change
- Together with citizens and organizations, we are drawing up a proposal for a national climate law designed to protect the country from the catastrophic repercussions of the climate crisis.
- We are submitting policy proposals and practical solutions, and we’re taking legal action so that Greece can achieve full independence from fossil fuels through energy efficiency and production of clean energy.
- We are pressuring decision-makers and informing citizens to generate support for policy measures and tools for the country’s energy transition based on energy democracy.
- We are taking action – everywhere from local communities to Brussels – to achieve the necessary changes on the political and legislative level with regard to climate and energy.
The Orthodox Church addresses the climate crisis
With the aim of protecting Greece from the catastrophic repercussions of the climate crisis, we are launching a public dialogue on climate. In partnership with Vouliwatch and with the support of experts and scientists, we are taking the initiative to create the first open and inclusive proposal for a climate law. Citizens and organizations can participate actively in this initiative from the very outset. Our goal is to complete our proposal and submit it to the Hellenic Parliament ahead of the Glasgow UN Climate Conference in November 2021.
Help shape a climate law for Greece!
The first step for our country to acquire a national climate law has just been completed. More than 2,500 people took part in the opinion poll and their answers will be used to draft the bill. Enter klimatikosnomos.gr, and stay tuned for the first open consultation that will start in the coming months!
It is no longer up to future generation to fight climate crisis. Our generation must fight this battle. There is no more time to waste on ineffective policies. We now have the means, the knowledge, the technology and the human resources to take decisive action. Averting the climate crisis is not a struggle we can win on our own. We need everyone’s support.