We have 12 years to save our planet. Just twelve short years. As explained by the world’s leading climate scientists, global warming needs to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.
The authors of the landmark report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) say urgent and unprecedented changes are needed to reach the target, which they say is affordable and feasible although it lies at the most ambitious end of the Paris agreement pledge to keep temperatures between 1.5C and 2C.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference COP24 is happening now, and they want to give us all a seat at their table. They are asking:
What are your priorities for making progress on climate change?
Share your key points for climate action across social media using the hashtag #TakeYourSeat to make your voice heard.
So what are my key priorities for tackling climate change?
• Focus on reducing single-use plastics & plastic waste:
In some countries, there have been major strides in this already. Initiatives from organisations such as Surfers Against Sewage and Lonely Whale, amongst many others have driven change in policies at government levels and inspired large communities to change their habits. However, this is the tip of a very large iceberg that cannot be ignored.
Further changes in policies to tackle it at the source – especially the manufacturers and companies themselves – need to be put in place, to stop them producing so much. Consumers need to change their habits too, but they are often limited by lack of options and cost barriers. There is only so much they can do; companies are best placed to tackle the issue more effectively. Policy needs to ensure the importance of this and give guarantees this will happen urgently.
• Replace fossil fuels with clean energy:
End fracking. Replace all fossil fuels with clean energy. There are some key countries in the world, including here in the UK, who are still heading in the wrong direction on this. We need to change our course, now.
• Embrace slow fashion:
The fashion industry needs a mass overhaul. Fast fashion, with cheap throw-away clothes that are only worn once or twice, is killing our planet. The processes and materials used are unsustainable, and unethical too. Attitudes need to change, and the entire way the industry operates, needs to change.
Did you know that reducing meat intake (especially beef) is the single most effective action that individuals can take to reduce climate change?
Every little helps, so even just one meat-free day per week makes a huge difference. Give it a try.
Further action: Promote the benefits of reducing meat consumption. Support and raise awareness of initiatives such as Meatless Monday to help drive consumer change.
What are your key priorities for climate change?
Join in the discussion #TakeYourSeat