Erlangen: what does a climate protection officer actually do??
"Of course, I don’t manage to make everything climate-friendly in my everyday life either", confesses climate protection officer lena jakob. It’s a very complicated and complex issue," says the 34-year-old, who works for the city of erlangen. After graduating from the ehrenburg-gymnasium in forchheim, schlaifhausen studied at the institute of geography in erlangen. During her bacherlor and master studies, she became more and more interested in the topic of climate, she says. During a research assistantship, she worked for the city of nurnberg on a project investigating the impact of climate change on densely populated cities. Finally, she became the climate protection officer in erlangen.
A wide range of tasks
Her field of activity is very broad: she is the contact person for climate protection issues for politicians, citizens, companies, associations, and is in charge of the climate adaptation concept in erlangen, where she collects data, organizes and moderates workshops, gives lectures for citizens, associations, school classes, and lectures at the university. "I also organize exhibitions on energy transition, climate protection and resource conservation in erlangen. I am currently working on an exhibition called "save the world", which will be on display next year in january and february at the erlangen city library." And that is only a fraction of your area of work.
Her job is fun, but sometimes it’s anything but easy. She enjoys working with and informing so many different people, but that’s also the challenge. "There are so many different interest groups." It’s also difficult because people can’t consciously experience the climate, explains jakob. Climate and weather are very often confused with each other: "climate is the state of the atmosphere over a period of at least 30 years. Weather, on the other hand, describes the condition of a place at a given time. Climate change will lead to more frequent extreme weather events such as heat waves and storms. These then become traceable for us."
Laws for climate protection
Laws also had to be made to regulate and control certain areas, says the climate protection officer. "This has made it possible to take a lot of decisions away from the consumer.", she continues. It is important for a rethinking in society that people are not frightened and overtaxed.
Do something good in a small way
Every individual can do something good for the climate and the environment on a small scale: "there are many ways in which you can make a small contribution in your everyday life. I prefer to ride my bike, drink more tap water, and store more often in organic or farm stores."
She always has a small metal lunch box in her office cupboard. "If I buy something to eat on the road, like soup, I can fill it directly into the box and save on packaging waste." As part of the 2017 carbon fasting relay, she practiced plastic fasting. In her contribution to the project on the homepage of the carbon fasting relay, she writes about shopping: "one thing quickly becomes clear. Planning is a must. Find a store, set aside a little time, bring a container, buy fresh." It may take a bit of discipline, but it also makes consumers eat healthier, says the 34-year-old.
When it comes to her diet, she makes sure that she uses mainly seasonal and regional products. Eating cherries in winter is a taboo for her. "My uncle has many cherry trees. For us as children, it was always something very special when the first fruits were ripe", tells lena jakob and laughs.
Eight transport wheels in erlangen
She says she enjoys riding her bike a lot. Since august 2018 there are eight transport bikes with electric drive in erlangen, which are distributed at various locations and can be used free of charge. "I have already tried this when i was out for events in the city. It was very relaxing because I didn’t have to look for a parking space and I reached my destination quickly."
The 34-year-old says: "most of what we can do for the environment is not new." In their opinion, consumers should always ask themselves the question "what do i need??" And "do i really need this?" Place.
When it comes to clothing, lena jakob also attaches great importance to quality. "My dress was produced organically and under fair conditions. It costs more, but the clothes also last longer." Clothing swaps, flea markets and second-hand stores, repair cafes for electrical appliances and up-cycling of furniture and clothes are also good ways to save resources. "That really makes a difference", says the climate protection commissioner and laughs.