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Dresden hopes to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050

The future of Dresden is in its citizens' hands

The future of Dresden is in its citizens' hands

The Digital climate forum “Our City – Our Climate” is set to start in a couple of days

“Our City – Our climate” is the name of Dresden’s climate protection forum which will be held on 7 July 2021, where residents can take a hands-on approach when it comes to the issues of climate change and the future development of the city. According to Environment Mayor Eva Jähnigen, the city should achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and after recent heat waves and droughts, the urgency of the issue is undeniable.

Climate change has come to Dresden. Now, what do we do?

The forum will be divided into two stages. The first features a lecture from Rainer Baake, Director of the Climate Neutrality Foundation and former State Secretary in the Federal Environment Ministry. A recording of the lecture will be available after the event.

The focus of Director Baake’s lecture is on posing the question of why we need more climate protection in Dresden and what chances does the city have to act and reverse the damage before it is too late.

Environment Mayor Eva Jähnigen was quoted in a press release listing some of the reasons for the urgency of this forum, such as heat waves, heavy rain and droughts, proclaiming “Climate Change has come to Dresden”. Also, on a rather pessimistic note, she claimed that the last couple of years have been the hottest since records had begun.

In the second stage, participants will have the opportunity to browse the different themed rooms in the online forum. The motivation room called “Climate protection for me!” will be home to different ideas for more climate protection in Dresden.

The discussion on implementing climate concepts will take place in the implementation room, called  “Climate protection together!”. Another one will be dedicated to free expression, where citizens are invited to discuss and collect ideas, projects and tips for a climate-friendly Dresden.

The forum will close with a summary and a roadmap on the further actions on the issue. In addition to the discussions and ideas workshops, the forum will offer the opportunity to exchange experience directly with people who are currently working on the new climate protection concept for Dresden. This is meant to give a human face to barely tangible concepts from the field.

This all contributes to a certain degree of transparency the government provides on its plans for the future, as the forum is completely free and open to everyone in the city. However, the question of how transparent and democratic the process ends up being is dependent on the municipality’s public outreach.

Ina Helzig, head of the climate protection team in the city pointed out that the council’s resolution on climate neutrality is out and available to the public. She continued: “But our concept is not finished yet. And that's good. We are on the way and would like to work on it together with the Dresden residents. It is our city."

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