At the highest level, governments need to have a vested interest in ‘greening’ their countries if we are to have any hope of a better future.
End fossil fuel subsidies
Governments around the world still spend trillions on subsidies and tax breaks for fossil fuel extraction and use.
Create ambitious policies
Governments can start by creating and constantly revising their policies for curbing emissions. Each country’s NDC will guide their policies, and governments need to continually make their policies more ambitious. They should scale up renewable energy and embrace nature-based solutions for climate.
To ensure that businesses and citizens start playing an active role in the fight against a climate catastrophe, regulations need to be put in place. Government-imposed recycling plans, fossil fuel energy taxes and other legislation can get countries on board with a green agenda.
Entering into regular conversations with country stakeholders can go a long way to inspiring more green initiatives. When businesses and citizens are encouraged to join their government in reaching ambitious climate goals, there is a stronger uptake. Governments should reward and encourage ingenuity in renewable energy practices to see their countries remain motivated to ‘go green’.
Support sustainable practices
What better way to encourage national ‘greening’ than by supporting suppliers who use sustainable methods? By favouring tenders that come from ‘green’ businesses, governments will be able to lead by example.
Since businesses make up the majority of each country’s GDP, changing business practices to support the planet will make a huge difference.
Set science-based climate targets
These targets offer companies clearly defined pathways to future-proof their growth by specifying how much and how quickly they need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. You can find more information on science-based targets here.
Join a coalition
By joining a coalition aimed at championing more ambitious climate actions, your business can enhance your county’s climate goals. Why not join a group like Alliances for Climate Action, IRENA Coalition for Action or We Mean Business?
Pledge to reach net-zero
Want to prove just how serious your business is about combating the climate crisis? Commit to limit global warming to 1.5°C, and work to drive policy ambition and accelerate the transition to a net-zero economy.
As individuals, there are many things we can change to help lower the rate of warming and work towards lowered emissions.
Be more energy-efficient
Try to steer clear of energy-heavy appliances like air conditioners or heaters. Cool off with a cold drink or warm up under a blanket instead.
Choose renewable energy
In some countries, switching to renewable energy is as easy as contacting your electricity supplier and asking to choose a green tarriff. If you can't select a renewable energy supplier where you are, why not install some solar panels to power your home? Even a solar-powered geyser will help to lower the pressure on high-emission electricity. Plus, you’ll lower your monthly energy bills.
Use alternative transport
Consider carpooling with a friend or co-worker, or use public transport if it's available where you live. If you need to travel long-distance, try to reduce the amount you fly by considering alternatives like long-distance trains or coaches.
Going vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian — or even just eating more plants and less red meat and dairy — can help to lower the amount of global emissions. Livestock account for 14.5% of the world’s greenhouse gas each year.
By recycling items, fewer raw materials need to be extracted, refined and processed — meaning less air and water pollution, plus reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Spread the word
Encourage those around you to live more eco-friendly lives. Share your story of ‘going green’ and inspire others to do the same.
Make smart political choices
Know your government and candidates’ proposals for combating climate change and make this a criteria for your choices.