oikos Vienna

students for sustainable economics and management


Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

Talking about the weather…

Sometime during the last covid-19 lockdown in Austria I noticed that all people were talking about was the weather. Austrians generally love to complain about the weather, but the intensity of the daily weather analysis seemed to be accelerating at high speed. Whenever someone called me or I called someone, one of the first phrases was weather related. It made sense, since “What have you been up to?” or “Any news?” weren’t promising small talk questions anymore.

I remember the first wave of summer heat kicking in early that spring. After months of sitting in our apartments in the winter darkness, sunshine and warmth were a great relief. Since there weren’t many hobby options available, I noticed how much joy eating my breakfast on a park bench in the sun brought me. And I wasn’t the only one. When there was nothing else to do, the park some blocks from my apartment was flooded with people. Not long until it got hard to find a free park bench to eat my breakfast at. For the first time I felt how much influence the weather has on my happiness. Weather isn’t some abstract, theoretical concept.

When talking about climate change it often seems like a vast amount of people have a hard time connecting the facts and numbers to their lives. “1.5°C warmer” doesn’t sound like a dramatic thing at first sight. If for a second, or in the case of lockdowns for some months, the things we usually keep ourselves busy with like going out, events, work, travelling aren’t possible anymore, our happiness suddenly starts depending on the most basic things in life: Nature, the weather and our surrounding.

And weather can influence your life just as much in a good as in a negative way. For the first time in my life, I’ve experienced what bad weather can mean. In August 2021, floods and high water in Austria damaged buildings and seriously injured people. My parent’s garden was flooded. Still, lots of people in the village I grew up in didn’t connect this unusual weather to what they read in newspapers about climate change. Climate change isn’t just something that might affect tropical islands, it’s right here and we’re starting to feel the impacts of it. People close to me were financially and emotionally impacted by the summer wildfires in Greece and other parts of Europe. And recently what only seemed to be happening in southern Europe during summertime devastated hundreds of hectares of forest in the Austrian Rax area. We must start making the connection between “weather” and climate change.

Source: moment_magazin (https://www.instagram.com/p/CRjg866iGlk/?utm_medium=copy_link)

Those incidents illustrate why a few degrees really do matter. According to the UN, in the case of global earth warming of + 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels, the areas burned by wildfires in the Mediterranean summer would increase by 41 %. That’s already devastating. However, with a 2°C increase that number would go up to 62% and in the case of + 3°C to 97%.[1]

Source: unclimatechange (https://www.instagram.com/p/CQ-uAYitFd1/?utm_medium=copy_link)

With the COP26 happening right now in Glasgow, it is more important than ever to keep in mind that we can still make the change. Projections by the New Climate Institute show that it’s still realistic to reach the 2°C target until 2100 and it would theoretically even be possible to reach the 1.5°C target. Whether we reach the climate targets and to what extent will be defined by political action within the 2020’s. There has been a visible increase in political actions toward the climate targets set by the Paris agreement, yet not enough to reach the 1.5°C goal.[2] The so called “High ambition coalition”, which so far more than 50 countries have committed to, could make 1.5°C possible[3]. We still have the chance to adhere to the Paris Agreement. We find ourselves at a turning point at which we must set our priorities right and perhaps it helps to keep in mind how much a day of pure perfect weather can be worth.

By Marlena Niedl


[1] UN climate change (2021). The difference between 1.5C, 2C or 3-4C average global warming can sound marginal, https://www.instagram.com/p/CQ-uAYitFd1/?utm_medium=copy_link

[2] Ou, Y. et al. (2021). Can updated climate pledges limit warming well below 2°C?, Science, 374(6578), 693-695. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abl8976

[3] The Guardian (2021). More than 50 countries commit to protection of 30% of Earth’s land and oceans, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jan/11/50-countries-commit-to-protection-of-30-of-earths-land-and-oceans


Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

(Heart-) Warming LEAP Mid-Term Meeting in Catalonia

On 3 March 2018, 26 oikees came together from all over the world to meet in sunny Arenys de Mar, Spain for the second LEAP meeting. LEAP is a 9-month leadership program for a group of young participants, who had already met in Switzerland in October 2017 on their first meeting. Since then, the LEAP journey included many webinars, reflections, peer-to-peer calls and coaching sessions on personal development and responsible leadership.

Weiterlesen


Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

The UN Climate Change Conference 2017: Key Outcomes

In the early morning of Saturday, 18th November, at 6.50 a.m., the 23rd UN Climate Change Conference came to an end – half a day after the originally planned closing plenary. Difficult negotiations about finance for developing countries and enhanced Pre-2020 actions by developed countries delayed the process.

Weiterlesen


Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

23rd United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn

Bula! (Fijian for: Hello – and much more)

On Monday, 6th November 2017, the 23rd United Nations Climate Change Conference convened in Bonn and I am honoured to be part of it. Via oikos Vienna, I am sharing some of my experiences from this unique international conference, where 197 parties meet annually to combat climate change. In this post, I want to start off with this year’s agenda of the COP23 and introduce myself.

Youth delegate talking at opening panel to government representatives

Youth delegate talking at opening panel to government representatives

Weiterlesen


Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

What money alone can’t solve – leadership in sustainable urbanisation and the power of small in a big world

This year the oikos Central Eastern Europe (CEE) Meeting took place in Baku, Azerbaijan and therefore finally satisfied Anna’s wish to visit the place ever since she planned on going to the Baku Summer School the first time about five years ago. The topic of this years’ CEE meeting has been Leadership in Sustainable Urbanization. Being ignorant uninformed Europeans not really knowing much about countries located East to the Black Sea but not yet as far as the Middle East we couldn’t really relate this topic to Baku. So we figured we have to make our way over to see what this was all about. With basic travel guide knowledge (Melanie) and most adventurous jumping into the unknown (aka Anna most times too confused to get informed beforehand) we got to Baku a few days in advance in order to get acclimated, snoop around by exploring sites and local cuisine.

Weiterlesen


2 Kommentare

The fashion industry: a (cynical) outline – oikos Winter School

Students from many different countries (Germany, India, Austria, Italy, Ghana, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Ukraine – just to name a few) with different backgrounds and different points of contact with the garment industry gathered in a small town in the west of Germany past March for the oikos winter school 2017, with this year’s topic “sustainability in the fashion industry”. Two of them from Vienna: Sonja, blogger of the sustainable fashion blog “Fesches Mascherl” and me.
Weiterlesen


Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

Overall, one could say that energy usage and consumption are linked to their prices. Energy prices are to a wide extent interconnected and as a result usually when one energy production source experiences price increases other energy sources also increase. This fact explains some kind of positive correlation between different energy sources, which can be observed while analyzing the historical data and complex interactions of the coal gas and oil markets. Energy prices are very volatile and do not necessarily only depend on demand and supply but also on political and economic decisions. As such, energy prices are complex and dependent on a wide variety of politico-economic determinants.

e_sdg-goals_icons-individual-rgb-07

Weiterlesen


Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

SDG 2: Zero Hunger

Seen as the probably greatest solvable problem on the planet hunger affects the lives of over 840 million people who go to bed hungry every night. That fact leaves us with a number of 795 million people undernourished. The vast majority of those people live in developing countries. Neither unusual nor very surprising large-scale problems like hunger affect mostly the weakest, but most important part of our society and our future – the children. Poor nutrition causes nearly half of the deaths of children younger than five years old, which sums up to 3.1 million deaths each year. One in four of the world’s children suffers stunted growth, mostly due to hunger and malnutrition. Just in Africa 23 million primary school-age children have to attend classes hungry. Those overwhelming and dramatically high numbers of human suffering display the inequity and ineffectiveness in the global production and distribution of human kind’s basic need – food.

SDG 2

Weiterlesen


Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

A view point on the variables of global food production

(c) Luisa Escobar

(c) Luisa Escobar

On October 23th, 2016 Vandana Shiva joined the Festival des Libertés (in collaboration with SOS Faim) in Bruxelles to talk about the deficits and challenges in food security.

Vandana Shiva was born in India in the 1950ties where she already learned from her parents, who left their jobs to become farmers, about the importance of the land. She finished her PhD in quantum physics in Canada and continued in inter-disciplinary research in science, technology and environmental policy when returning to India.

Weiterlesen


Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

Linking the SDGs and Management Education at Universities – 3rd RME Research Conference

Last week, on the 9. & 10. November, the 3rd RME Research Conference took place on the IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems. oikos also contributed to this conference – members joined the panel discussions, conducted a workshop and were responsible for the documentation of the different conference sessions. On our oikos Blog Katherina and Bernhard present you an excerpt of the keynotes.


Our planet faces massive economic, social, environmental and governance challenges. To address these, the “Agenda 2030” defines 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 related targets that represent an unprecedented opportunity to lead the world on a sustainable path. The challenges addressed in the SDGs also require integrated thinking, action and coordination at a university level. Thus, the key objective of this conference is to create awareness for SDGs in management education and to discuss initiatives, methods and pioneering activities for including SDG-related issues in strategies, curricula and lectures.

Weiterlesen