19.03.2014 - 15:06

Local groups in action: progress through awareness building activities

In the last weeks and months, our local groups have yet again invested much time and energy in spreading awareness on issues pertinent to the Global Marshall Plan Initiative. Our local group in Cologne successfully organised its first Impulse Day and the local group Munich 2 invited Alexander Rossner of Zukunftswerk eG to give a presentation on climate neutrality and emissions trading at its monthly group meeting.

On February 20, Alexander Rossner gave a presentation on climate neutrality and emissions trading at the monthly meeting of the local group Munich 2. In his presentation, entitled Climate Neutrality – is it possible? The possibilities and limitations of the voluntary offset of CO2 emissions, Rossner outlined the various ways in which private persons can balance out their CO2-emissions. He explained the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on the climate and how the CO2 balance is affected by the increases in the living standards of emerging countries. Furthermore, he discussed how governments and the UN are fighting against the rise in CO2 emissions.

Rossner showed that it is a challenge to reduce one’s own CO2 emissions to the climate-friendly level of approx. 2 tons per person per year. Currently, the average CO2-level in Germany is 10.6 tons per person per year, according to the German Federal Environment Agency.

Rossner continued by discussing various types of CO2-certificates, i.e. the Certified Emission Reduction Credits (CER) and the Verified Emission Reduction Credits (VER). He concluded that if more people not only engaged in emissions trading, but also ensured that CO2 certificates could only be sold once and not multiple times, then CO2 emissions would fall substantially worldwide. The presentation was followed by a lively discussion on emissions trading and other ways in which public citizens can reduce their carbon footprint.

On February 22, Ricarda Giefer and Thomas Schwab, two graduates of the Global Marshall Plan Academy, hosted the Cologne group’s first Impulse Day at the Kolping Bildungswerk. After a short round of introductions, 20 participants were invited to partake in a game of Fishbanks, which teaches that good teamwork and the careful utilisation of existing resources are necessary to maximize economic welfare. Afterwards, Ricarda and Thomas gave presentations on the Global Marshall Plan Initiative and on the consumer’s potential to improve the world. The guest lecturer Dirk Weller followed with a brief presentation on “Simpol,” a global citizens’ initiative aimed at eliminating national competitive constraints in areas such as sustainability and the common good.  

After a delicious vegan meal, the group participated in a city tour organised by “Kölle Global.” Using satire, this tour shows that stores such as Aldi and H&M, as well as the West in general, are dependent on the resources and labour forces of third world countries. The two-hour tour inspired the Impulse Day-participants to re-think their own consumption behaviour. The tour ended at the “Eine-Welt-Laden” (One World Shop), which sells fair trade products from around the world.

We would like to thank the local group Cologne and the local group Munich 2 for organising these events, which helped spread the vision of the Global Marshall Plan Initiative. Your support is a driving force of the Initiative!   

To learn more about these local groups, please send an email to the following email addresses:  

Local group Cologne: koeln@globalmarshallplan.org

Local group Munich 2: muenchen@globalmarshallplan.org

Or contact our project bureau: damian.arikas@globalmarshallplan.org

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