Expert discussions on climate action are filled with obscure units like MtCO2e, LCOE and TWh. However, there is one unit that matters more than anything else: time. Over the past years, climate has been changing rapidly – more rapidly than expected. Not only have global average temperatures broken records, they have also broken records on how much they have broken records.
We are met by a fan from a dignified and bygone era in the entrance to the hospital. Neatly dressed ladies in chic headgear serve a steady stream of patients and their families who are visiting the Kherson City Clinical Hospital in south-eastern Ukraine.
The month of November is well underway as we approach the village of Myrne, not far from Odessa in southern Ukraine. Despite this, there is feverish activity in the area’s muddy fields. Thanks to the mild climate at these latitudes, multiple harvests of different crops in the same year are possible.
“This is where we are going to extend our school with a new annex. At the moment we are doing the groundwork, planning and taking care of the technical details. By the autumn our pupils will be benefiting from fresh, new spaces. We’re looking forward to it,” explains Galina Lugova, as she hurries on. It is impossible to mistake her enthusiasm as she shows us around.
German heavy metal music booms from the car's speakers as we approach Vitebsk, north-eastern Belarus. The beautiful natural landscape flickers past the windows whilst the singer's hoarse roaring voice hurls us back to the urban reality. We have been picked up in the car by consultant Mikhail Vasilevich in Minsk and are on the way to the OJSC Keramika factory in Vitebsk to take a look at the local reality of what happens on the factory floor.
The nauseating stench of rotting food scraps is unmistakable – and the gulls have come to the same conclusion as they swoop around us in large flocks in search of easily-caught food. “One man's meat is another man's poison” as the saying goes. We are at the landfill site outside Vitebsk in north east Belarus. Project Manager Jesper Nyqvist from the Swedish company Vireo Energy is showing us round to demonstrate how they produce electricity from rubbish.