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ACT AS A CITIZEN

Reducing our emissions to net zero cannot be reached by individual actions alone (at best, drastic actions at the individual level could help us achieve 45% of our global emission reduction target*).

 

Tackling climate change is a systemic endeavour which requires structural changes in terms of how we produce food, electricity, goods or how we move. Becoming a net-zero carbon economy means that we collectively agree on certain principles. For instance that carbon is a dangerous pollutant and should be regulated as such or that we should keep fossil fuels underground and rely on other sources of energy.

* Sources: Carbone 4 "Faire sa part" - 2019 study

VOTE

Only governments actions, citizens involvement, and companies accountability and leadership that converge can create systemic changes. Government actions and regulations have a special role to play: them only can both create a level playing field for every economic actor and ensure that those rules are enforced . Those decisions needs to be democratically voted.

 

Governments programs are not purely idealogic, far from it. Most of the laws, regulations or subsidies voted or granted stem from pragmatism: what do people want or are ready to accept in the present? That is why is it key to send message to politicians that policies  that are relevant to decarbonise our society and adapt to climate change (in transport, energy, food...) are supported. Casting your vote at local or general elections is the most basic way to express your support. 

Expanding every-day civic activism and advocy in other parts of your life is a complementary way to tilt the balance towards climate friendly policies.

 

ADVOCATE

Educating about climate change and advocating for climate safe policies are one of the most valuable step that can be taken at the individual level. Civic involvement and every-day advocacy bring the long term changes needed as they help spread knowledge of climate urgency all around.

 

Advocacy can be done at very different levels and according to everyone sensibility. A littl ebit of climate advocacy can be peppered in every role we play in life (family members, neighbors, workers, bosses, consumers, citizens, investors...). Here are only a few examples of how climate advocacy can be done :

  • at your workplace, you can help set up sustainable goals for the company or lobby for Meatless Mondays at the cafeteria,

  • as a consumer, you can purchase from climate conscious companies and retailers,

  • as a sharholder, you can join a shareholder advocacy group,

  • as a constituent, you can write to your elected officials,

  • as an investor by divesting from fossil fuels ( for instance, see the Fossil Free Funds website to check if your savings are invested in fossil fuels)

 

It can be done on your own or you can join groups that are active in supporting climate friendly actions, policies, research, advocacy... 

 

Our Kids Climate a global non-profit of parents organizations (including Mothers Rise Up in the UK and National Parents For Future groups) keeps a list of 50+ parents groups worldwide that are active in this area: Check their page to find the one closest to you!

© 2023 Helene Costa de Beauregard and Anita Bagdi 

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