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Climate Policy to Advocate for in 2022

Less 2050, more 2030 - we want rapid emissions reductions!

As governments scramble to act on climate, many are putting together climate action plans centred around getting to net-zero by 2050. This is too late to stay below 1.5 degrees warming (1.5 being the upper limit that scientists suggest catastrophic consequences should not occur if we can stay below). Net-zero by 2050 is a step in the right direction but we need to start seeing strong short term plans, such as net-zero by 2030. With good governance and breakthroughs in the private sector, this is absolutely achievable, it is simply a matter of political willpower. Envision it this way - an investment, if we invest in clean energy now, we save trillions in disaster management, resilient infrastructure, health consequences and biodiversity protection (which supports health and food systems).

What can you do? Well, what can’t you do, because there are hundreds of niches that we need filling in the climate activism space. If you can’t find time but you are financially comfortable, consider donating money to climate causes (maybe even us, link in bio).

Fossil fuel subsidies are estimated at $6t a year-stop it.

Many people simply are unaware of how much money is spent on keeping our current fossil fuel heavy systems alive. Millions, every minute. Six trillion in a single year. It is truly mind-boggling. This investment into coal, oil and gas has kept the pricing of fossil fuels artificially low which prevents the market from swiftly transitioning to the much cheaper to produce renewable energy. Some governments go as far as investing in coal plants in developing nations to ensure that their resources can be bought into the future. This needs to stop. Why does this even happen? Well, many governments have been bought out by the mega-rich fossil fuel companies to ensure governments do their bidding. To be honest, rather than depressing, we find this exciting. Imagine a world with no meddling from the resource extraction complex, a world where energy comes and goes where it is needed, not pushed. The future looks bright, and it is powered by renewable energy.

Why do we need a just transition away from fossil fuels?

Many of the world’s 195 countries are reliant on energy systems built around the use of fossil fuels. When it comes to decarbonizing an economy, it is much easier to make the transition within a wealthy nation as opposed to nations with high levels of poverty. There are two considerations that a just transition encourages; (1) wealthy nations can assist the world’s climate by investing in coal-reliant energy countries such as South Africa, India, Indonesia and the Philippines, and (2), money must be spent assisting the working class reliant on fossil fuel production to transition to new markets.

By understanding this, you are in a prime position to advocate to those around you (including your elected officials) - the inclusion of this concept ensures that we all stakeholders are much more likely to act on climate at the levels required. Does this seem fair and reasonable to you?

Halt the rapid decline of biodiversity

One hundred years ago, most people could not have predicted just how dire the state of the environment would become, probably because not many people were even asking the question. Fast forward to 2022 - ecologists suggest that we have entered the sixth mass extinction event. Just like the dinosaurs, the majority of the world’s species are predicted to cease to exist.

Scientists explore the concept of tipping points and thresholds as these are truly consequential once activated. When species loss, or stress factors, reach a certain point, the intensity and velocity of the ecosystem decline rapidly increase. Many ecosystems are on the cusp. This year we will see a global conference on biodiversity, much like COP26, at the end of April in Kunming. The outcomes and agreements achieved at that conference are vital to changing our trajectory towards a future, not plight with failing and collapsing ecosystems.

Conservation and restoration. These two words. Google them. Borrow books about them. Ask about them. Make these two areas your new focus and maybe, just maybe, we will do enough.

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