The spectacular worldwide receding of mountain glaciers is one of the most reliable evidences of the changing global climate since mid 19th century. Mountain glaciers therefore, are seen as key indicators for climate changes and act as a sort of "global thermometer" (Haeberli et al. 1998b, IPCC 2001, OcCC 2002). And although the global temperature rise of about 0.6°C in the last hundred years might seem negligible at first sight its impacts are tremendous. Alone the Alp glaciers have lost around one third of their surface area and half of their volume by the 1970s. Likewise, since the 1980s 10-20% of the estimated 130 km3 of ice reserves have been lost (Maisch/ Haeberli 2003).
Hot summers, floods, and winters without snow – during the last decade extreme weather events have given rise to worldwide concerns. One can hardly fail to notice that these extreme events indicate potential impacts of climate change in the future. Other consequences, however, which are at least as serious, emerge only gradually. One example are rising sea levels which threaten huge areas and coastal settlements and have serious effects particularly on people in developing countries.
Brief information about the climate impacts of aviation.
"We don’t want to leave this place. We don’t want to leave, it’s our land, our God given land, it is our culture, we can’t leave. People won’t leave until the very last minute.” With these dramatic words, Paani Laupepa, the former assistant secretary at Tuvalu's Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment, expressed the feelings of many Tuvaluans when it comes to the worst-case scenario of climate change and its effects on small island nations.
Within the framework of the initiative "Securing Food - For a Global Paradigm Shift in Agricultural Policies" FIAN, German National Association of Worldshops and Germanwatch support fair rules for international trade in agricultural goods. It is our opinion that a Global Paradigm Shift in Agricultural Policies is necessary to ensure the human right to food for all human beings and to provide agricultural production with a social, ecological and consequently, sustainable profile.