On Sunday 26 March, the citizens of Berlin voted in a referendum on whether to bring forward the city’s net zero target date from 2045 to 2030. The requisite minimum “yes” vote was not reached but still, it is a massively valuable historical data point.
Achieving this would require a massive amount of behavioural change from both consumer and regional governments.
Bear in mind that current objectives per capita require us to be at 2.5t CO2e by 2030 (and 0.7t CO2e by 2050).
So Berlin was talking about potentially reaching the per capita level of 0.7t whilst currently they are at less than 4.9t.
That will equate to reducing emissions per capita by 4.2t CO2e.
Two things stand out. The absolute delta over the next 6 years plus how hard it is to reduce further the lower you get, due to macro dependencies such as power grid, travel and food sourcing.
However a third variable becomes apparent after the referendum. Despite a strong push by an eco aware segment of the population in getting the referendum agreed to in the first place the turnout of 35% on the day shows us that most of the population remains phlegmatic and reticent to positive behavioural change. I don’t have data but bet that the voting curve is very asymmetric with Gen Z and millennials voting and baby boomers + abstaining.
I am a Gen baby boomer but since about 2017/18 we have tried reducing our household footprint. We are now at about 4 t CO2e* each. A massive improvement from the 10t plus in 2017. In my own case how would we get to the 2.5t or magical 0.7t seems impossibly far away. But I am 100% committed. Our next step is to replace short distance car journeys by cycling. Over 50% of journeys are under 5km. I am also 100% committed to manifesting change within the older generations – who sadly are/were the biggest lifetime polluters and will experience the least effects of global warming but leave a legacy of eco carnage.
Chapeau Berlin for at least trying.
Image © Ed Hawkins: Each stripe represents the average global temperature for a single year, starting in 1634 and ending in 2021. Shades of blue indicate cooler years, while red shows years that were hotter. The stark bands of red to the right demonstrates the unmistakable rapid heating of our planet in recent decades.
* Note. Food values are generic for the UK as individual circumstances are hard to obtain. Grid values are based on grid actuals rather than the implied pure green energy supply in England – which is topped up with non green energy.
Sven Thiele, Hotchillee Founder
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Glen is usually behind the scenes making sure that the Hotchillee Ride Captains and event participants have fully functioning bicycles to ride but he occasionally makes an appearance in front of the camera to share his wisdom. If he’s not fixing or building bikes he’ll be out riding in #SweetSussex. If you want to know anything about Cyclocross, Glen is the man to ask.
Consultant with British Cycling and author of the Road Cycling Performance Manual. Lover of cobbles, gravel and Siberian Pine – not so keen on climbs! Nik is the author of all of the Hotchillee Training Plans, Zwift workout files and regularly posts tips and advice on the Hotchillee app. He’s also the evil genius behind the now infamous Hotchillee Gain Train.
Adele has worked within the health and fitness industry for over 25 years starting with a ballet and dance background herself, she has progressed to training and teaching all styles of fitness and offers Pilates, barre & yoga. As a keen runner, Adele appreciates the need for a strong healthy body and mind and incorporates many elements of Pilates, yoga and barre into her own training to ensure her strength and stamina remain.