Dear readers of the Newsletter of the German Consulate General in Vancouver!
Summer has arrived, but before the well-deserved holiday season begins, we present the July edition of the German Consulate´s newsletter.
Dramatic weeks are behind us with the largest and most devastating wildfires in Canadian history, affecting not only tens of thousands of people, costing many lives and destroying billions worth in property, but also affecting the USA and even Europe with huge billows of smoke from the burning forests. As of today, a total surface the size of Bavaria has been torched and although the most ravaging fires are contained, there are still a lot of fires burning in many parts of Canada and the wildfire season has just begun. Climate change has reached our shores and doorsteps.
So it is with good reason that this edition deals with issues of structural change and how to rebuild our economy and our lives in order to achieve an environmentally sound way of life and conduct business. Coal and the mining industry have been the backbone of a large part of the German economy for nearly 200 years, but as the shift to cleaner and more sustainable forms of energy generation demands the restructuring of a whole industrial landscape, the search for adequate solutions is inevitable. The challenge to combine the generation of clean energy on a large scale and to buffer the social implications of the energy transition is a herculean task often described as a new industrial revolution. And it really is. We all want to live in a clean environment, we want to breath fresh and clean air, we want to drink clean and fresh water and to eat healthy, unpolluted food. At the same time we want to heat and light our homes, power our appliances and vehicles and produce the commodities which we consider essential for our everyday lives.
How this can be achieved without spurring social unrest, energy cuts and deprivation and changing people´s lives and ways of working for the better, was the grand scheme of a visit to former and still operating coal mining areas in Germany sponsored by the Federal Foreign Office. One participant was invited to this program by the German Consulate General in Vancouver and you can read the full story of the visit in this newsletter.
June was also the month in which Berlin hosted the world´s largest Special Olympics World Games where the Canadian athletes scored an impressive result in winning many gold, silver and bronze medals. You will find more details in the article below and we are glad that the athletes so outstandingly performed in their various disciplines and that they enjoyed their time in Berlin. Congratulations, Team Canada! Very well done!
I hope you will enjoy reading our newsletter. My colleagues and I wish you all a wonderful, relaxing and joyful summer.
With best regards,