welcome to the website of the non-profit association KLIMA° vor acht e.V. (translates into climate before 8pm).
This webpage gives an overview over the aims of our grassroot project in English and provides links to other content on our website in German including pages with contact information. From this page, we hope you can navigate around our website. You didn’t find something you were looking for? Then please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, we will try and get back to you as soon as possible.
You find on this page:
- Why KLIMA° vor acht?
- What are the goals of the project?
- What does KLIMA° vor acht look like?
- Who is behind KLIMA° vor acht?
- How is the donated money used?
- What has KLIMA° vor acht achieved so far and where to go from here?
- Stay up to date
- Support KLIMA° vor acht
Why KLIMA° vor acht?
More and more people are directly affected by the ever-advancing climate crisis. Business and economics topics get a lot of attention and the best broadcasting slots. Take the German public broadcasting corporations consortium ARDARD Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland as an example. It produces the news programme “Die Tagesschau” daily at 8pm. Just before the Tagesschau, the daily short programme “Börse vor Acht” has been reporting news from the world of stock markets for two decades. Isn’t it time to provide equally comprehensive information about an existential crisis that affects everyone? We firmly believe that a short and high-quality broadcast format on the climate crisis is urgently needed.
What are the goals of the project?
The goal of KLIMA° vor acht is to encourage TV stations to produce innovative, science-based and regular climate reporting and to broadcast it in slots that reach as many people as possible. To help achieve our goal, we have produced the first six episodes of KLIMA° vor acht. We developed the broadcast concept, selected the topics, provided the editorial work and managed the complete production process. Previous attempts to convince decision makers via letters and a public petition have not had the desired effect. KLIMA° vor acht practically demonstrates that it can be done.
What does KLIMA° vor acht look like?
The six episodes of KLIMA° vor acht are each 3-5 minutes long. In terms of content, we are interested in communicating scientific facts, reporting on current developments and putting new findings into context. A daily short TV format should also whet people’s appetites for a sustainable future worth living, show perspectives and approaches to solutions and explain the need to act.
For the filming and post-production, we worked with a professional film studio. The editorial team was supported by experts from the scientific community. We premiered each of the six episodes weekly between 22 April and 27 May on Thursdays at 7.55pm on popular video platforms. Beyond the production and “broadcast” of the episodes, KLIMA° vor acht runs a media campaign promoting the format on other media outlets.
You can find all of these episodes on our YouTube channel.
Who is behind KLIMA° vor acht?
To be able to realise the project, more than a dozen people, many of them with roots in the climate movement, came together as “Team KLIMA° vor acht in mid 2020. A crowdfunding campaign on Startnext was launched to finance the project. The funding goal of €20,000 was reached in under four hours and funding had nearly doubled by the time crowdfunding ended. To realise the project, we founded a registered non-profit association and, by 2021, the KLIMA° vor acht team had swelled to more than 30 people, all working on a voluntary, not-for-profit basis.
How is the donated money used?
The KLIMA° vor acht budget covered filming and production costs of the KLIMA° vor acht episodes. Necessary expenses, travel costs and reimbursement of expenses for the professional presenters were also covered by the budget of the association. Part of the funding donated to us will go towards our multimedia campaign activities. All conceptual, editorial and scientific work is done by the KLIMA° vor acht team on a voluntary, non-profit basis. To get to know the people behind KLIMA° vor acht, click here.
What has KLIMA° vor acht achieved so far and where to go from here?
In March 2021, KLIMA° vor acht addressed an open letter to the chairman of the ARD, Tom Buhrow. Together with about 180 prominent co-signatories from science, culture, finance and media, we called upon the ARD to provide climate coverage appropriate to the extent and urgency of the crisis. Among our co-signatories are two of Germany’s best-known climate researchers Hans Joachim Schellnhuber and Stefan Rahmstorf and institutions from various backgrounds. After publication, the letter has been signed by almost twenty thousand people from all walks of life, supporting our goal.
Also in March 2021, our own analysis of public television programmes showed that climate was only a marginal topic. In 2020, only 128 in a total of 13,079 programmes excluding repeats dealt with the topic of ‘climate’ - under one per cent. In the same year, the format “Wissen vor acht” (knowledge before eight) aired 227 broadcasts with only 10 addressing the climate crisis.
In April 2021, the team behind KLIMA° vor acht went live with its pilot series of six weekly KLIMA° vor acht episodes. To push for our goal for better climate reporting that reaches a broad audience, we also ran a social media campaign on four big social media platforms. Our Twitter account as of Summer 2021 has reached 30,000 followers. We also received attention in the traditional press.
As a result, the private TV station RTL took up our demand for science-based yet comprehensible reporting on climate at prime time. KLIMA° vor acht has been in discussion with the TV station about its new regular climate format.
RTL, a major German private broadcaster, launched its own format “Climate Update”, which was developed closely with KLIMA° vor acht and runs directly after the main news and reaches millions of viewers. As of September 2021 RTL aired 22 episodes twice a week just after 7 pm. You can watch all of these episodes here.
In July 2021, the initiative KLIMA° vor acht met for the third time with representatives of ARD to discuss a dedicated, regular climate format on the German television channel “Das Erste”. ARD’s programme director Christine Strobl and her deputy Florian Hager were among the participants. At the meeting, ARD announced that the topics of climate and biodiversity would be covered at least once a week from now on during the quarter hour before 8pm.
With the promise of a weekly programme on the subject in this time slot, ARD remains far behind the idea of KLIMA° vor acht. Norman Schumann, KLIMA° vor acht press spokesman, said of the meeting: “A frequent climate format at prime time does not seem possible at ARD at the moment. We would have wished for more vision and courage from the public broadcasters. It is positive that ARD, at our suggestion, now also wants to focus more on biodiversity in its reporting. The extinction of species is another important topic that is strongly linked to the climate crisis.”
The initiative will continue. The television landscape must find its feet in order to deal with this unprecedented crisis adequately in the media. KLIMA° vor acht e.V. will continue to remind the ARD and all other broadcasters of this and will gladly support them with our expertise.
Stay up to date
Please direct press enquiries to our press team, contacts listed here.
Support KLIMA° vor acht
- You can support us by making a donation. Our bank details are as follows.
Account holder: KLIMA° vor acht e.V.
IBAN: DE76 4306 0967 1147 7277 00 (GLS Gemeinschaftsbank eG)
- You can still sign our letter to Tom Buhrow, chairman of public broadcaster ARD in Germany.
- If you want to support us, you can also add a KLIMA° vor acht badge to your social media profile picture here
- There is even a sustainably produced KLIMA° vor acht‑shirt that can be purchased via the Green Shirt’s website.
Please note: we do not derive any economic benefit from the sale of the T-shirts and are not contractually affiliated with Green Shirts.