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Going green and finding ways to lead a more sustainable lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular among many of us the world over - and it seems that it’s also becoming increasingly essential to do so, with the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) proving to be very damning reading indeed.
As the publication sets out, the world now faces unavoidable climate hazards over the next 20 years with global warming of 1.5 degrees C. And even exceeding this warming level temporarily will result in various severe impacts, some of which will be irreversible.
Accelerated action is now required in order to adapt to the effects of climate change, while also making deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions rapidly. Even now, we’re seeing droughts, floods and heatwaves exceeding plants and animals’ tolerance thresholds, which is driving mass mortalities in species like corals and trees.
But thus far, according to the report, progress where adaptation is concerned has been uneven, with increasing gaps between the action being taken and what is actually required in order to deal with the growing risks.
Hoesung Lee, chair of the IPCC, described the study as a “dire warning about the consequences of inaction”, explaining that the actions taken today will shape how we all adapt and how nature responds to climate risks in the future.
He went on to say: “This report recognises the interdependence of climate, biodiversity and people and integrates natural, social and economic sciences more strongly than earlier IPCC assessments. It emphasises the urgency of immediate and more ambitious action to address climate risks. Half measures are no longer an option.”
All is not yet lost, however, and there are options with regards to adapting to changing climate. The report goes into further detail on this, noting that nature has potential to reduce the risks and improve people’s lives.
Co-chair Hans Otto Portner made further comments, saying that restoration of ecosystems and conserving 30 to 50 per cent of land, freshwater and ocean habitats equitably can drive progress towards sustainable development. However, adequate political and financial support “are essential”.
The situation may seem overwhelming but there’s a lot you can do to reduce your own impact on the planet - and have fun at the same time!
There are sure to be climate action groups in your local area, so why not see if there are any community events you can join in with to make a big local impact and make places more climate-friendly.
Or if you want to reduce your carbon footprint, one of the quickest and most immediate ways to do so is to reduce your intake of meat and dairy, with production responsible for 14 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Support local businesses at the same time by arranging for a weekly veg box delivery from a local grower or farm!
Where your energy usage is concerned, you could consider switching to clean tariffs to help drive the movement for more renewables. You might even find these tariffs can save you money, as well - so it’s a win for you and a win for the planet!
And, of course, you can do your bit with regards to the problem of plastic waste by using reusable products. There’s a huge amount of choice available on the market these days so going zero waste has never been easier.
And you’re sure to find it addictive as a pursuit and, before you know it, you’ll be living that sustainable lifestyle you’ve always dreamed about. It all starts with a single step!
A great place to begin is to find out what your own individual carbon footprint is. This is the total amount of greenhouse gases (including CO2 and methane) that is generated by your actions and knowing what your footprint is can really help you prioritise and decide where to focus your attention first.
We’d love to hear how you’re going about helping the planet and doing your bit to tackle climate change head on - so get in touch to let us know!
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