The Climate crisis
No matter where we live today, climate change is the defining crisis of our time. Billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) are released into the atmosphere every year from burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas. At the same time, human activity is generating CO2 emissions at a record high, with no signs of slowing down. The more carbon pollution in the air, the more the sun’s energy gets trapped as heat, which causes temperatures to keep rising.
According to a September 2019 World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report, we are at least one degree Celsius above preindustrial levels, and close to what scientists warn would be “an unmanageable risk”. The 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change calls for holding global temperature “well below” two degrees Celsius, and to push for efforts to limit the increase even further, to 1.5 degrees. But if we don’t slow global emissions, temperatures could rise to above three degrees Celsius by 2100, causing further irreversible damage to our ecosystems.
We might feel powerless when faced with the harsh reality of our current trajectory, but there is still time to act.
Not all are affected equally
The first step to fight climate change is to recognize that it can have different social, economic, public health, and other negative impacts on vulnerable populations. Not all are affected equally, and sadly, countries that historically pollute less are often the ones most impacted by the adverse consequences of climate change.
We work to restore the balance between communities that lack the necessary resources to mitigate their environmental impact and communities becoming more conscious and concerned about our warming planet.
Where does the average person emit the most CO2 each year?
We can calculate the average environmental impact of a single person by dividing the emissions produced in their home country by its population. The global average in 2017 was 4.8 tonnes per person.
What can you do?
Reduce Your Impact and Get Involved!
reduce your impact
Avoid taking long car journeys (each litre of fuel burnt in a car engine emits over 2.5 kg of CO2) and try to walk, bike, or use public transportation as much as possible.
If you are driving, share your ride with others and try not to speed as this uses more fuel and therefore, emits more CO2;
Avoid flying. This is the world’s fastest-growing source of CO2 emissions. If you do, consider purchasing carbon credits to help lower our global emissions.
Be mindful of the temperature of your house: just 1ºC less reduces emissions (and your energy bill) by 5-10%;
Try to limit the use of air conditioning, it is expensive and uses a lot of energy. Use a fan instead.
Check the settings of the appliances you have around the house. Maybe the fridge doesn’t have to be in the highest setting and your water cylinder thermostat can be set at 50ºC or lower.
Unplug your cellphone’s charger as it still drains electricity even when it is not connected.
Switch off the lights when you don’t need them and use energy-saving light bulbs such as LED.
Whenever possible, reduce the number of animal products you eat.
Eat local and seasonal produced food: short trips mean less pollution from transportation.
Recycle/compost organic waste. Otherwise, methane will be released by the decomposing biodegradable waste in landfills. In the EU, these emissions account for ~3% of GHG emissions
Ultimately, the goal is to limit over consumption of products. With this in mind: refuse what you don’t need, reduce what you need, and reuse the things you need as many times as you can. When you can´t find a new use for it at home, recycle it or dispose of it correctly.
Avoid buying new bags to transport your shopping back home by reusing your shopping bag.
Choose products with little or no packaging: this ultimately cuts down production costs and the amount of trash produced.
Let´s work together to help communities around the world face the challenges of climate change.