The climate is changing, natural resources are dwindling and environmental pollution is becoming an ever greater problem. What solutions do the economy, social movements and Indigenous perspectives offer?
There have been doubts about the sustained growth of economy and prosperity since the days of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels; however climate change has brought new momentum to the debate: does the scarcity of resources herald the end of capitalism? A discussion on the post-growth debate in Germany.
What’s left after a Biennale? For instance the construction material for the German Pavilion: for 2023 the plan is to build this structure entirely of material left over from the last Biennale. After all, sustainable architecture also involves wasting less by way of resources.
Halting future environmental crises is one of the greatest challenges the world is facing today. To do so, creating democracies and societies that are politically committed to the planet seems imminent.
For the Sámi and their reindeer husbandry, wind power is neither green nor progress. It is just another industry that is gradually fragmenting the Sami cultural landscape, writes Eva Maria Fjellheim, PhD candidate at the Center for Sami Studies at UiT's, in this article.
Climate change has shown no mercy to the places that were once magnificent and powerful. Two Thousand years after Alexander the Great created his magnum opus, where is the city of Alexandria now? Through a series of interviews, we have attempted to answer those questions.
We often assume anyone in favour of green principles cannot possibly be right wing. But that is not at all the case. Environmental protection and nature conservation has long been embraced by people whose other ideas are on the far right of the spectrum.
Belgrade, like many cities, struggles with the segregation of prejudiced ethnic groups, resulting in the “ghettoization” of the city. But how can the integration of the school with the neighbourhood promote a solution?
How we feed ourselves in cities, is very much dependent on what is produced in rural areas. This is why a coalition of organizations is working in the Mediterranean region to protect biodiversity by supporting the value of local traditional communities.
All over the world, regions affected by structural change are struggling to make a fresh start. Some have succeeded, others are finding it harder. There is no magic formula, but experience has revealed some promising approaches.
Cities have the potential to improve women’s lives. But in reality, the planning of urban spaces often prioritises men’s routines and sidelines women’s needs and habits. What does a feminist city look like?
Atenco – a municipality whose history is tied to draining the bodies of water in the centre of Mexico – today, is a place where caring for water, cultivating land and life in all its dimensions are connected. This is a tour of some of this region’s agroecological practices in the company of the farmer's organisation “Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra”.
Over the past 20 years, the fossil fuel industry has been responsible for three-fourths of human-caused carbon emissions on the planet. Part of the cultural sector also draws its funding from fossil fuels. The Fossil Free Culture initiative wants to tackle this.
It is already common for cities to have channels through which citizens can participate in municipal decisions. However, engaging a large number of people from different backgrounds is always a challenge. Helsinki's proposal? Create a card game!
Johannesburg is one of the very few large cities in the world that wasn't built around bulky rivers or the sea. The Juksei is its only perennial river, and it is heavily polluted. But a group of people are coming together, merging the arts, science, and social practices to reverse this logic.
In 2009, the Plateau-Mont-Royal neighbourhood in Montreal was ridden by heavy and dangerous traffic. The mayor of the borough had other ideas and pushed through a radical concept of appeasement against significant resistance.
The summers are getting drier and drier, as well as the other seasons, that do not bring the amount of rain Germany is used to. Berlin's trees are struggling. How can a digital platform and an active neighbourhood offer a solution?
During the pandemic, many citizens of Lisbon were left without transportation options that safely allowed physical distancing. The solution: repairing old bicycles to put them back on the streets, serving those who need them most.
Forget poverty, filth and criminality – a project in Rio de Janeiro has created a network for various initiatives in the favelas that are attempting to make their neighbourhoods greener and more social.
Norway is responding to the growing pressure on its urban centres by using wood in innovative ways. This sustainable raw material is experiencing a veritable renaissance in view of climate change and depletion of resources.
Urban ports are not exactly known as sources of biodiversity. At least in New York this hasn’t always been the case. The Billion Oyster Project aims to turn the city harbour into a functional ecosystem again – with the help of oysters.
Every five years, coinciding with the municipal elections, artists, architects, and designers from the city of Montevideo join in an artistic-political campaign parallel to the elections. With a perspective rooted in the artistic field, the project calls for the participation of society to reimagine what life in the city can be like.
Many of the old, run-down buildings and houses in Korea consume too much energy. So, some of them are undergoing a "green remodeling" to improve their energy efficiency and the quality of the indoor environment. What does this architecture of the future look like?
Sophisticated building technology and wall insulation have for some years been considered a panacea for reducing CO2 emissions in the building industry. But it doesn’t take much to construct houses with a good climate balance. Also in building the truth is: less is more.
In Nairobi, a city highly segregated by class, trash ends up in – and becomes integrated into – informal settlements. Waste is not just part of the landscape; it comprises it. Dumped from other parts of the city, trash becomes embedded in the soil, burned into the air, piled up until it changes the topography.
Many rivers in Jakarta are heavily polluted, despite being dynamic spaces. A collective of architects, scientists, and activists, came together to turn a bamboo raft into a laboratory, joining citizen science with education and inviting people to listen to rivers.
The coastal region in the north-east of Japan is hit by strong tsunamis about every 40 years – most recently in March 2011. How do people manage their lives in harmony with nature despite the conditions, how do they pass on their culture to the next generations?
By studying the knowledge and traditional technologies of the native peoples of Mexico, a group of Mexican researchers found an alternative for conserving and intervening in cultural assets in a way that is ecologically and environmentally friendly.
The art world can often be very superficial, criticizes the curator Anne-Marie Melster. Through her “Artport_making waves” collective she wants to take a more content-driven approach and illustrate that art, science and politics can complement one another in the area of climate change.
Germany has decided to phase out coal, but energy company RWE is still clearing forests and relocating villages in the coal mining areas in the Rhineland. There has been resistance and protest from many corners, including “Ende Gelände” and “Triole gegen Kohle”.
Greenland is seeing rain, not snow, and the Alpine glaciers are diminishing all the time. How likely is it that there will no longer be any ice sheets at the Poles in the foreseeable future, and what would that mean for us? An interview with Dr Maria Hörhold, a glaciologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute.
Because of global warming, the oil era is coming to an end. This is something that countries and even oil companies themselves have understood. The challenge for the global community now is to find alternatives to oil that do not release greenhouse gases. How can this be achieved?
Climate change remains a global and existential problem. Humanity is slowly accepting that their actions on earth are a credible threat to the planet. To preserve the environment, organisations, like the African Cleanup Initiative in Lagos, Nigeria, are doing its quota to sensitize underserved communities, while helping to ensure their children stay in school.
How can we live more sustainable lives – in a world characterized by the coronavirus pandemic and growing mountains of waste? Two examples from South Korea illustrate how recycling and upcycling can be achieved in creative ways.
Coral reefs are ecosystems that boast very great biodiversity but are highly endangered. The “climate refugee” super corals could offer some unexpected help and possibly ensure the survival of the reefs.
The global pandemic is forcing heavily polluted Mexico City to face the fact that, if we are to breathe cleaner air again, we must bring about a serious change in the way we live and get around town, explains Eugenio Fernández Vázquez.
Are there any objective facts and do they help us to combat climate change? Two members of Scientists for Future talk about how society deals with scientists and why they are often reluctant to recommend specific actions.
Artists and producers from the music scene are actively interested in environmental conservation. Some question whether preventing plastic waste at festivals and concerts is enough though when the travel involved in touring itself produces tons of CO2.
Climate change mitigation organisations such as “Last Generation”, “Extinction Rebellion” and “Ende Gelände” use high media exposure campaigns across Europe to raise awareness about climate protection issues and challenge the constitutional state with their actions. Is this type of activism a legitimate element of a democratic system?
Can modern technologies be used profitably to foster conservation and restore lost trust? Software engineer David Dao is convinced that they can, which is why he launched the non-profit GainForest fund. In our interview he talks about his personal relationship with nature, how GainForest came about and about the considerable influence that indigenous communities have on his work.
We already have a climate crisis, “we cannot also risk a nature crisis,” Aili Keskitalo, president of the Sámi Parliament in Norway says. For years now, she has been fighting the Norwegian government’s plans to increase the number of wind energy farms. She talks about why in an interview.
Not to harvest more than what is needed – that is the basic understanding of the Sámi. How does this fit together with a capitalist society in which nature is increasingly being exploited? Susanne Hætta writes about the threat posed to the Indigenous people by human-made climate change.
When thinking about Indigenous traditions, Rap usually is not the first thing that comes to mind. For musician Áilu Valle, it’s the perfect way to express the struggles of the Sámi and their relationship to nature.
In an interview, writer thinker, and one of the most important activists of the Brazilian indigenous movement, Ailton Krenak, talks about the ideas of belonging and resistance that permeate the struggle of indigenous populations of the American continent.
What is it like to grow up next to and live your life in harmony with the river? And how is it changing today? Artist and writer, Tanja Koistinen, has been watching the river in various locations during the summer and wrote a letter.
Our planetary ecology and climate are being wrecked. It is the result of the global misuse of resources over centuries. Tero Mustonen from the organisation Snowchange explains rewilding through the help of Indigenous techniques.
Defending the environment in a country marked by the predatory exploitation of its population and its resources can be very dangerous. After the violent death of an environmentalist and a journalist in the Amazon, the gravity of the situation has come to public attention, reinforced by the testimonies of those who, fearing reprisals, are forced to leave the country.
Freedom – an inviolable human right – is increasingly regarded as indispensable in our treatment of animals, too. The Chilean activist Mauricio Serrano Palma is fighting for the right to freedom for all sentient beings.
The majority of the world’s poor are women, they rely heavily on natural resources to provide for their families and they have no access to decision-making processes in many areas of the world. Dr Shouraseni Sen Roy shows how women are significantly affected more by the consequences of climate change.
The concept of freedom has always referred among other things to a vision that extends into, affects and seeks to shape the future – as we will have to relearn in this era of ecological crisis. Eric Grabow explores the relationship between freedom and sustainability from a philosophical perspective.
Many international institutions refer to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. But what do the SDGs really mean for work on the ground? That is what we talked about with Ashish Kothari, founder of the Indian NGO Kalpavriksh.
Six years ago, the United Nations defined a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at tackling and overcoming ecological and social problems following a holistic approach. The political scientist Dr Aram Ziai believes that the SDGs have failed. In our interview he explains how he has arrived at this conclusion.
Positive visions of and narratives about the future are rare, yet these are precisely what we need if we are to move away from polarization and a sense of hopelessness and embrace a proactive approach. An appeal for constructive climate communication.
Every year, representatives of governments, media and non-governmental organisations meet to discuss climate change. 2021 there were a lot of expectations for the World Climate Summit. Could they be satisfied? Activists Annika from Germany and Arshak from Russia share their thoughts.
What power does art have when it comes to establishing a world that is fairer, both socially and ecologically? In this visual essay, Walmeri Ribeiro writes about unrestrained extractivism, exploitation and our bodies' relationship to nature.
All over the world, nature is being exploited, plundered, polluted. But how is this connected to patriarchy and our understanding of the human being? The Brazilian artist and researcher Mari Fraga looks at the environment from an ecofeminist perspective and finds an answer to these questions.
Nicaragua's legislation is among the most progressive in Latin America – and among the least enforced. 90 per cent of the country’s Indigenous areas are threatened with invasion by armed settlers. Lottie Cunningham, a Nicaraguan lawyer, environmentalist and Indigenous rights activist, talks about her struggle and the humanitarian crisis in her country.
Ecuador, Amazon Rainforest: A small Indigenous community, confronted with the interests of Big Oil, fights to preserve its land using the tools of its ancestors and the internet. This is their story. A visual essay.
What contribution can art do in the discourse about sustainability and how can Indigenous perspectives be included? Curator of the online exhibition “Take Me to the River” Maya El Khalil and assistant curator Danielle Makhoul review in the interview about their biggest learnings in terms of this exhibition.
Wasteful use of the earth’s resources is a leading cause of environmental disasters, and the wealthy industrialized countries are benefiting from the exploitation of developing countries, says author Petra Schönhöfer.
The theme of environmental sustainability hit the culture scene some time ago. While museums and theatres look for ways of improving their CO2 balance, the culture community poses the question: What form should the communication of culture take in the climate crisis?
Known for its vast avocado plantations, the Petorca region in Chile is suffering from the severe drought that has plagued the country for over a decade. According to experts, climate change is not the only reason for the lack of water in the region.
Photo (detail): mauritius images / Westend61 / Roman Märzinger
Wars and climate catastrophes are creating food shortages around the world. Nonetheless, an equitable global food supply is possible – though only if we change our production methods and consumer behaviour.
There is a whole range of sustainable investment options for anyone looking to invest their savings without supporting things like fossil fuels, child labour, and the arms industry. But just how ecological and ethical are they, and are they profitable?
Mexico is the first country in Latin America to create an emissions trading system to reduce greenhouse gases. What does this controversial instrument consist of and what are the primary challenges it faces?
Amid an escalating climate crisis, many institutional investors have dropped their fossil fuel assets. Harvard joined them in fall 2021, divesting its endowment from the oil and gas industry – thanks in part to the tireless work of pro-divestment activists.
Industry is increasingly under pressure to meet demand for both economic production and environmental protection. Robert Miehe from the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA explains whether and how this might be possible.
For many outside Europe, working for a supplier of German companies means exploitation, poor wages, and a lack of labour rights. Starting in 2023, a new law will take effect to punish human rights violations taking place in German supply chains. But can it really bring the needed change?
The UK’s Committee on Climate Change recommends the British public to reduce their meat consumption by 20 percent. The public sector caterers feel responsible for that – and wants to implement the recommendation with their own resources.
Greenwashing not only dupes consumers; it also stands in the way of real change. Ecological promises and voluntary certifications have long led the public to believe that the global economy is getting greener all on its own. But that is simply not the case. A new law is being passed to fix it.
The garden Huerto Roma Verde offers a temporary escape from the chaos and air pollution that dominates life in Mexico City. It is an experimental community project whose participants are searching for sustainable solutions in response to consumer habits in megacities.
Erosion, flooding, drought: ever more extreme weather events are making life difficult for conventional farmers. How can we produce food in a more environmentally compatible manner? One possible solution is currently being trialled in the Netherlands.
The innovative use of urban space for agricultural purposes offers some interesting solutions to many of the problems faced by the food industry. Lufa Farm in Montreal put the idea of rooftop greenhouses into practice and today operates the world’s largest rooftop farm.
For cities to develop sustainably, it’s essential to have a strategy that enables a future with more equality and responsibility for the environment. What the circular economy is and why it represents a feasible and necessary model for megacities like Mexico City.
Is digital technology the Holy Grail, the solution to all our global environmental problems, or actually part of the problem? Green IT specialist Niklas Jordan weighs the pros and cons of digitisation.