Gymnasium Buckhorn

Winner of the third prize

Finalist for the Region North

YourEco- Swipe for a better tomorrow!

Our world has a problem. WE have a problem.
Over the last decades, we missed the chance to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions and to stop the man-made climate change over and over again. The economy, as well as scientists, are trying to solve the problem with new technologies called NETs (Negative Emission Technologies). The task of those NETs is to pull the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, however, we the people, who are the main reason for the climate change, can’t rest on those technologies. We have to understand that we are the problem but that we can also be the solution. We have to change our behaviour in the long run in order to save our world and ourselves.
We created a first solution to do so. Our new app YourEco helps you to change your life every day a bit more. First, those changes might seem small to you but in reality, they can have a huge impact. YourEco calculates your carbon dioxide emissions every day and all you have to do for it is to answer a couple of questions about your life. However, our app is not only a calculator for your emissions but way more. We are creating a social network, where you can take challenges with your friends or your family. Together you can make your life greener and more sustainable. Those challenges are split up into different sections that cover every part of your daily life, for example, Transportation or Food. Now you can start a challenge and reduce your personal emissions by finishing it. To make it easier for you changing your life, our app presents many tips and advice for each challenge that will help you to make the changes. Every time you finish a challenge, our app calculates the amount of carbon dioxide emissions you have reduced and adds this to your profile. Another feature of YourEco is our roadmap, where you can check your successes and even compare them to your friends’. To work your way up into the ‘green life’ on the road map will motivate you to keep on going and not to give up. Had a bad “CO2-day”? Check our network, directly linked in our App: donate f.ex. a small amount of money to the company climeworks which removes CO2 from the air for you or plant a tree on plant- my -tree.
YourEco is an app with the potential to change the general behaviour of the people by pointing out what big effects small changes in your life can have. Human civilisation was the trigger for climate change but in turn, only we are the solution to stop it.
So, it’s up to you!
Download YourEco and swipe for a better tomorrow!

Their YES! topic

How much CO2 is still allowed to enter the atmosphere, and how do we get it out again?

by Wilfried Rickels, IfW Kiel Institute for the World Economy

Neither the climate policies promised in the framework of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Climate Agreement, nor the existing energy infrastructure, nor the recent election results and political decisions in Brazil and the United States indicate a reversal of the trend of annually increasing emissions. In addition to the urgently required rapid reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the use of negative emission technologies (NETs) will, therefore, be necessary, i.e. additional CO2 already emitted must be removed from the atmosphere. There is a wide range of approaches and ideas on how to accelerate the carbon cycle, i.e. the uptake of CO2 by soils, vegetation and the ocean: for example through (re)afforestation, accelerated weathering (the spreading of rock flour on fields, river basins and coasts), the combination of bioenergy production with the capture and underground storage of CO2 (BECCS) or the direct chemical removal of CO2 from the air with subsequent geological storage (Direct Air Capture).

By using NETs, exogenous temperature targets could be reached with a higher probability or, in a cost-benefit analysis, a lower endogenous climate change could result. Also, NETs offer potential strategic advantages, as the demand for fossil fuels is not directly influenced and at the same time the application of the technologies does not require a concentrated CO2 emission source, as the CO2 is directly extracted from the atmosphere.

However, primarily land-based NETs such as afforestation or BECCS are in competition with other forms of land use such as food production. Overall, these considerations show that NETs must be an essential part of future climate policies (if ambitious climate protection is to be realised), but at the same time, it is still unclear which NETs can be used to what extent, how these technologies will be promoted and integrated into our climate policies.