The Paris Climate Accord is a landmark global agreement, ratified by 170 countries and agreed to by 195 countries since it was first signed in December 2015, that outlines a specific set of aims to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change. Trump’s decisive abandonment of the agreement, prioritised his own national interests, and neglected the international community, who were left to the task of limiting further global temperature rises, even though the United States is one of the largest per capita greenhouse gas polluters.
Eliza Barclay writes, “While it’s certainly not the end-all, be-all scheme to reverse global warming, the agreement is the most comprehensive international effort yet to tackle the climate problem. It’s also been widely hailed as a triumph of diplomacy in the face of what may be the toughest problem humanity has ever encountered.”
More recently, mayors, including those from the cities of Paris, Mexico City, San Francisco and Phoenix, signed the Chicago Climate Charter agreeing to achieve a percentage reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that is equal or more than that states in the Paris agreement. This meeting signaled strongly, that whilst President Trump is uncommitted to the Paris Accord, these local councils are willing to take the necessary action to uphold the emission reduction targets.
Why aren’t you investing with your values? See how it works!
So what can you do to fight climate change?
Here are 5 things you can do right now to abate climate change:
- Invest and divest with your values. Create influence using the power of people united around a cause. If you want to fight climate change and influence corporations to address critical social and environmental issues, make sure to invest with your values. Your superannuation yields an incredible amount of power, because collective action works. One prime example of the power of people is the Australia-wide campaign to stop Adani building a coal mine, and connecting railway, in part, due to the potential for greenhouse gases emissions produced from burning coal. Launched legal action, demonstrations and protest have been critical in showing opposition to the project. The voice of the public has helped influenced the positions of candidates during the Queensland election with a few declaring to veto against a $1 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) loan for Adani to build its railway project. This would not be possible if the public had not persisted with their campaigning and lobbying of politicians.
- Reduce car emissions. Consider carpooling with colleagues that live within your area, ensure your car tyres are inflated to the recommended pressure, use public transport and walk or cycle for short trips instead of driving.
- Cut down your carbon footprint when shopping. Purchase items with minimal packaging and refuse a plastic bag when you don’t need it. Buy local and seasonal produce to save on the energy required for transport and storage. Consider buying items that are made from sustainable, low-impact materials, this would mean forfeiting materials such as leather which requires high amounts of water and energy to produce. Think about buying a coffee keep cup rather than using a disposable one.
- You can learn more from the organisations at the front line of the fight against climate change: such as The Climate Institute and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.
- If you can, donate or volunteer for the organisations that are actively fighting climate change, fossil fuels, deforestation, and more.
- Follow these social media tags and be up to date on climate change events and international developments, #OnePlanet, #Renewables, #ClimateAction, #NoNewCoal, #ClimateEthics and #ClimateJustice. Share your knowledge with your network.
Your time starts now!