Words by Smiley Team
Hope for the future can be found in a multitude of places, from the willpower of people to the potential for governments to act. It’s vital that we all consider what we can do to tackle climate change.
The most recent climate report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that climate is impacting the planet worse than previously thought. As the need for broad changes become ever more pressing, here are some places to draw optimism and help sustain our attempts to protect the planet.
While governmental willpower can prove insufficient by itself, collective action offers a strong motivator. Since world leaders first convened under the IPCC in 1988, we have emitted more CO2 than in the entire history of humanity before it. But when people come together, this collective action really can make a difference. As Leonardo di Caprio has said, “Climate change is real. It is happening right now, it is the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”
Major breakthroughs for the climate prove that our leaders are capable of acting. This was the case for the Montreal Protocol, an international agreement to phase out aerosols damaging the ozone layer. Similarly, the Mediterranean Action Plan for protecting the Mediterranean sea and coasts showed governments can unite for the environment.
The broad, sweeping changes we need can also come from companies. But this usually requires a transformation of the way businesses operate that can take time. Eco-ethical business networks such as Business Declares Emergency are helping companies to make this transition by offering advice on climate-friendly business strategies as well as hope for change on a wide scale.
Neighbourhoods, villages and towns are coming together to strengthen themselves against the impacts of global warming that we’ve already locked in. Groups such as Transition Network and the Climate Emergency Centres are building up community resources and connections to protect people from intensifying weather conditions as well as related challenges.
GET INVOLVED: Support your local climate group by joining the Transition Network.
DONATE: Help communities across Europe build climate resilience. Donate to the Transition Network.