What you need to know:
- In 2019, the Berlin Carbon Clock, a large, real-world LED-sculpture, was installed by Greta Thunberg’s #FridaysForFuture on the famous gasometer.
- #FridaysForFuture is a youth-led and -organised movement that began in August 2018 after Greta and other young activists sat in front of the Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks, to protest against the lack of action on the climate crisis.
The world now has five years left to hit crucial global climate goals, according to experts. This week, the Climate Clock Kenya team joined the world in recognising the Climate Emergency Day, whose purpose is to raise awareness about the urgency of addressing climate change and to emphasise the need for immediate action.
The Climate Clock basically shows how much time is left before continued CO2emissions push global temperatures to the extreme and beyond survivable limits. But unlike in the United States where an ominous, 62-foot-long clock that looms over New York City’s iconic Union Square was mounted, Kenya marked this important moment with a smaller clock that can pass for a desk accessory.
But who came up with the climate clock?
In 2009, Deutsche Bank briefly erected a Carbon Counter billboard 70 feet above New York’s Times Square, tracking humanity’s alarming rate of carbon emissions (two billion tons per month at the time). In 2015, musician-activist David Usher and scientist Damon Matthews began hosting an online climate clock at Concordia University’s Human Impact Lab, that in addition to carbon, tracked temperature and time.
In 2019, the Berlin Carbon Clock, a large, real-world LED-sculpture, was installed by Greta Thunberg’s #FridaysForFuture on the famous gasometer.
#FridaysForFuture is a youth-led and -organised movement that began in August 2018 after Greta and other young activists sat in front of the Swedish parliament every schoolday for three weeks, to protest against the lack of action on the climate crisis.
“To the outside eye it may have looked like an obvious thing to do but this was far from the first attempt by this team to launch their clock, nor was it the first climate clock,” the organisers explain.
“So, we put out the bat signal to our circle of creatives and by the next evening we had pulled together a crackerjack team of coders, makers, designers, artists and campaigners to not just make a clock for Greta but, buoyed by the attention her speech would inevitably garner, launch the full Climate Clock effort we had originally planned. We delivered the clock to her the night before her big speech. “Let’s do this!”
According to Climate Clock Kenya, the initiative is aimed at galvanising public attention, engaging communities and mobilising individuals, businesses, and policy makers to take significant steps to combat climate change.
“Today on this Climate Emergency Day, the Climate Clock will tick down below six years for the first time. Meaning, we will have less than six years to dramatically reduce fossil fuel emissions to stay below 1.50C degrees warming,” Climate Clock Kenya said. The group also said the world is facing an unprecedented climate emergency with rising temperatures, extreme weather events, melting ice caps and sea-level rise, all of which threaten ecosystems and human livelihoods.
“Climate change impacts are felt in every corner of the globe, affecting vulnerable communities and biodiversity alike. Climate Clock acknowledges the importance of collective responsibility and immediate action to combat climate change. This is why we reaffirm our commitment to sustainable practices, environmental stewardship, and supporting the global efforts to limit global warming and its devastating consequences,” Climate Clock climate change activists told Climate Action
“Our shared aim is clear: We must shorten the global timeline for climate action to be in line with what the science demands, and increase the level of transformative action that Kenya undertakes.”
This means that Kenya must do more in less time and aggressively implement adaptation and mitigation programmes.
“The safety and health of all coming generations is at stake. We therefore call for urgency and recognition of the severity of the climate emergency and demand policymakers and businesses to take responsibility for their role in contributing to it. We urge policy makers to implement measures that enhance climate resilience and adaptation, particularly for vulnerable communities and ecosystems. Businesses must also integrate climate risk assessments into their operations and supply chains, fostering adaptation strategies,” Climate Clock Kenya said in an official statement.