Ten years is about the time we have left to prevent the planet from becoming an uninhabitable place for humankind. Data from NASA shows that the 2010-2019 decade was the hottest ever recorded. In 2020, we have seen increasing temperatures, wildfires, marine heatwaves, deadly storms and extensive ice loss. Therefore, our planet is crying for help and we have to listen and act to help it. From Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim - climate change activist and director of the Association of Fulani Women and Indigenous Peoples of Chad (AFPAT) - to Jeroom Remmers, director of the Netherlands-based nonprofit True Animal Protein Price Coalition (Tapp Coalition) - five climate activists portray the future of our planet and share with us how we can change this situation through a series of exclusive interviews.

This is the BlastingTalks climate change series.

September 28th is World News Day and we are very proud to be part of this campaign to support journalism that matters. This year - together with more than 480 news outlets from dozens of countries - we will talk about climate change and how quality journalism is more important than ever to help solve this crisis.

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim: 'We must fight climate injustice'

“We have 10 years to act,” says Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, climate change activist and Director of the Association of Fulani Women and Indigenous Peoples of Chad (AFPAT), when asked how much time we have left to save the planet.

Her fight? To show the great powers that the knowledge of indigenous peoples can bring a stop to climate change worldwide. With origins in the semi-nomadic pastoral community Fulani Mbororo, Oumarou Ibrahim tells Blasting News how her community has been impacted economically and socially by the ecological crisis while sharing the solutions to fight “this climate injustice,” because “this is our future, we must not let it go!”

In the Amazon we are not far from reaching a point of no return, says Carlos Nobre

Senior researcher at the Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of São Paulo (IEA/USP) and one of the world's leading experts on climate change, climatologist Carlos Nobre formulated in the early 1990s the hypothesis of savannization of the Amazon in response to deforestation.

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Today, almost 30 years later, he makes a new warning: “Our calculations indicate that in 15 to 30 years, if we continue with these rates of deforestation in the Amazon, not only in Brazil, we will have already reached the other side, where the savannization becomes irreversible.” One of the authors of the IPCC’s (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, the Brazilian climatologist also argues that consumers have their share of responsibility in the matter and should “translate the desire to protect the Amazon into concrete actions,” such as responsible and sustainable consumption.

“If every Brazilian demanded a certificate of meat origin, deforestation in the Amazon would be greatly reduced,” he says.

The price of meat should include the costs of its environmental impact, says Jeroom Remmers

According to the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), meat and dairy production accounts for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the same amount as the transportation sector, often deemed as one of the main responsible for climate change and global warming. Cattle ranching is also the single biggest driver of Amazon's deforestation, accounting for about 80% of it, according to the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

In an interview with BlastingTalks, Jeroom Remmers, director of Tapp Coalition, says that the price consumers pay for animal products should include its “external environmental costs.” In addition to reducing the general consumption of animal protein, the project proposes three ways of applying the revenues from the new taxes.

“The first one is paying farmers. The second one is reducing the prices of vegetables and fruits. And the third one is compensating low-income groups,” says Remmers.

Svein Tveitdal on climate change: ‘Politicians have to set rules to solve the problem’

“If we had listened to scientists 30 years ago, we wouldn't have had a big problem like we have now,” says Svein Tveitdal, the former Division Director in the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and current director of the climate change consultancy Klima2020, when he was asked how much time humans have left to fight climate change.

Tveitdal founded Klima2020 to share advice with companies and local authorities who want to implement environmentally-responsible changes with the objective to "bridge the gap between climate science, policy makers and the general public.” In an exclusive interview with Blasting News, Tveitdal shared his thoughts on how to act effectively and quickly to tackle climate change. Tveitdal's solution would be to reduce emissions by 6-7% per year over the next decade worldwide. “If you ask me, I don't think we'll be successful,” he said. However, Tveitdal is hopeful that people will realize that our planet is facing “big threats” and that it is their role to act now.

Zack Labe on Arctic climate change: ‘It's important to communicate data in an accessible way’

“The right thing to do is bring the topic into public conversation,” says Zack Labe, Arctic climate specialist at Colorado State University, when asked how to tackle climate change. As a machine learning researcher and data scientist, Labe is sharing a series of charts and tables on Twitter with the goal of improving general public education on climate change. Labe explains that his "biggest challenge is to get people interested in the Arctic," a "key part of the entire Earth system.”

Labe believes that with the help of machine learning, Arctic climate change can be better analyzed and therefore stopped, so he remains optimistic: “We still have the potential to really make a difference."

Helena Marschall from Fridays For Future thinks young people can still solve the climate crisis

In August 2018, Greta Thunberg, then aged 15, held a sit-in in front of the Swedish parliament in order to fight against the climate crisis.

Following this, the Fridays For Future movement was born. Now, young people from 215 countries unite every Friday around the world by protesting in front of their schools, national parliament or local town hall. Helena Marschall was a pioneer of the movement in Germany. In 2018, she made her first strike accompanied by several other young people and has not stopped since. Being now a student in economics, she is convinced that “young people looking at this crisis can decide that they can still solve this problem.”

In an exclusive interview for BlastingTalks, Helena Marschall shows us the power a generation can have over their governments and politicians and proves that there is "so much potential in every young person" to put pressure on political leaders to urge them to take concrete actions to limit global warming.

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