GERMANY, 2004

The Reichstag in Berlin, seat of the German Parliament

Chang

© Chien-Chi Chang / Magnum Photos

 

Every day we see and experience the effects of the global warming affecting our planet: melting ice, desertification, an increase in extreme weather events and much more.
That rising temperatures have been caused by man’s release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is an incontrovertible fact, yet many people still tend to ignore the evidence in order to avoid taking responsibility.
A number of countries have fortunately decided to implement new environmental protection strategies. One of these is Germany, which managed to reduce its national greenhouse gas emissions by 19.4% from 1990 to 2002.
The German Parliament building, the Deutscher Bundestag, is itself a virtuous example of sustainable architecture. The building is, in fact, covered by a glass dome, lit by night by a photovoltaic system that converts the light energy captured during the day into electricity. The entire building is also heated by reusing the thermal energy of the stale air leaving the plenary hall. The Bundestag is just one example of how infrastructure can be built efficiently, taking care of the environment rather than damaging it. The possibility of reducing environmental damage could be seen by each of us not as a limitation, but as an opportunity to do things in a new, more careful and, in some cases, better way.

Stefania Bianco