Saving the Planet

How collective action can bring climate change solutions

climate change
credit: World Bank blogs-World Bank Group

The evidence of climate change is all around us; we see, hear about and even experience climate change in its different manifestations. The verdict is that it is a serious threat to human life and the entire ecosystem. Although we have every reason to be concerned, the positive thing is that there is a lot we can do to combat and slow its course.

Individual actions

Notably, most of the effects on climate are a result of human activities. Therefore, the solution lies mostly in the hands of humanity. There are efforts we as individuals can do to help reduce our personal carbon footprint.

People should start thinking of switching more to green energy which offers a better, more reliable, and cheaper way of generating power without the use of fossil fuels. After all, who says that the world cannot move to zero-emission, using 100% renewable energy. It is indeed a global goal according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Even better, the technology that supplies renewable has been improved to power household appliances, the likes of solar panels, geothermal energy, and wind turbines.

Around two-thirds of global emission is from burning fossil fuels for energy, transportation, and other activities. Switching to green sources of energy is a start to accelerate the move to renewable sources and thereby directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Be conscious of one-use plastics. Plastic is one popular material present in our life and is almost everywhere. It has found its way to the streets, the beach, and wastewater.

The struggle to get rid of these plastics is still very difficult. Don’t dispose of plastic after one use. You can still use it as a source of water storage water bottles, and other alternatives while putting to mind that there is a great connection between climate change and the use of plastic as they are produced by burning tons of fossil fuels.

Consider shrinking your digital footprint. Not many people know this but while streaming online videos and music and other online activities, we also contribute to climate change. Why? Because these digital technologies require the use of energy to function. Instead of streaming, why not download that favorite show or that hit playlist.

Also, when last did you use a bicycle? When it comes to protecting the climate, a bicycle works better due to the fact that they do not use energy or burn fossil fuels.

Save power by switching off the lights when leaving the house, the less power consumption the better for the climate. Remember to plant a tree, stop cutting down trees, and not planting a replacement.

While the individuals are doing all these to reduce their personal carbon footprint, what then can the government do to curb climate change?

Here are things the government can do to help

Governments across the world are taking huge strides in tackling climate change. Commendable though, but the surface has barely been scratched when we consider how much damage climate change can cause. Hence, by making radical policies and sticking to them; also ensuring that these policies are enforced.

An example of such policies is carbon pricing. This is done by many developed countries which place a tax on carbon emission. As a result, carbon-emitting industries are required to pay for each ton of carbon they emit. This policy will make these emitters check the amount of carbon they release daily.

The government should also make a policy of shifting from conventional energy to renewable sources of energy for households especially for manufacturers and other big industries.

Government should provide energy efficiency by investing in renewable technologies. Also, link these renewable sources of energy to the main grid to avoid power outages. This will make energy readily available for all while cutting down tons of emissions from homeowners in municipals especially.

The issue of reforestation and afforestation should be revisited as the forests keep disappearing as a result of modernization.

Companies should consider using recyclable packaging to reduce environmental pollution which contributes to climate change. If it can’t be reused, it shouldn’t be manufactured in the first place.

While companies claim to be doing their bit to reduce the amount of carbon they release, most companies and industries are yet to give a concern about the issue of climate change especially the major oil companies like Exxon, Shell, and others. These companies go as far as using millions of dollars to delay policies that have been created by the government to address climate change.

If we don’t address the issue of climate change now, it will get worse and its effect more serve as human health will be at stake and that of the ecosystem.
Everyone has a role to play in protecting the climate.

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