World Climate Change Conference

By Helgard Haug / Stefan Kaegi / Daniel Wetzel

At the beginning of December 2015, France's capital is host city for the next international climate conference. Representatives of 195 countries will meet here to risk the next step–towards a legally binding climate-protection agreement.
This mammoth-scale drama of diplomacy, aimed at protecting the world’s atmosphere, lends itself to being arranged into individual acts and scenes playing out on main stages and secondary stages.
There are preliminary discussions and background discussions, negotiations in individual working groups, with fine nuancing of verbal formulations. Parties will battle with one another, block and ignore one another, with each insisting on their own position. Alliances will be formed and power relationships will be adjusted (again).
Accordingly, after an opening ceremony the audience in the Hamburger Schauspielhaus theatre will leave their red upholstered seats; in sub-groups they will be "sworn in" regarding their respective negotiating tactics.
You could:
- represent India, persisting with efforts to undermine the plan of action by introducing feeble formulations with minimum commitment,
- belong to the group based around the Philippines' principal negotiator, Yeb Sano, who, at the Warsaw 2013 summit, announced a hunger strike, to last until the meeting achieved "significant" progress.
But perhaps you will represent
- Canada or Japan, who have long since turned their backs on the Kyoto Protocol; you may belong to the
- Alliance of Small Island States, and be sent to make a mark on events by lending emphasis to that alliance's demands.
Alternatively, you may wish to
- negotiate for the EU countries, in prompting further states to back the only binding instrument there is, the Kyoto Protocol.
Another option is to participate for Cyprus; jointly with Poland, this country succeeded in defying the plans for tightening the rules on CO2 trading.
- in Paris you could also champion an issue on behalf of Bangladesh, one absolutely not to the industrial nations' liking: compensation for the environmental damage caused by storms and floods.
- or you take the international coal industry up on its invitation, as it confers at the Ministry of Economic Affairs with regard to how it best pursues its interests...
When the issue is that of revealing the "culprit" - in other words the causes of climate change – it is all about facts. By contrast, when developing options for action the matter at hand is ultimately values. Which risks should the world community take on? What cost is it prepared to accept to protect the population in areas menaced by droughts or floods? Is it more important to expand electricity networks for renewable energies than to preserve marvelous landscapes? These are all decisions based on political, economic, and indeed ethical issues.
From most environmental-protection activists' perspective, the most recent climate summit, Warsaw 2013, was anything but a triumph. It has been talked of as a "farce", a "fiasco".
Agreement was only reached on minimum compromises. And one single word almost doomed the whole event to failure...




Honored with honorable mention at Prix Ars Electronica 2015 in the category Hybrid Art

with:Rosemarie Benndorf, Satya Bhowmik, Schirin Fathi, Hartmut Graßl, Bernd Hezel, Marlene Klockmann, Boris Koch, Mojib Latif, Klaus Milke, Juliane Otto, Florian Rauser, Michael Sahm, Vera Schemann, Sebastian Sonntag, Ana Soliz L. de Stange, Freja Vambourg and others...
Directing: Helgard Haug, Stefan Kaegi, Daniel Wetzel
Set management: Dominic Huber
Dramatisation: Imanuel Schipper / Jörg Bochow
Scientific consultation: Florian Rauser

Video: Hanna Linn Wiegel, Marcel Didolff
Assistance: Christine Mattner
Production: Deutsches Schauspielhaus Theatre, Hamburg

In Cooperation with Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie – Germanwatch – Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung – Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

Sponsored by Norddeutsche Stiftung für Umwelt und Entwicklung aus Erträgen der Lotterie »BINGO! Die Umweltlotterie«.