A shocking statement was released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change last week: There is a need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with immediate effect to avoid catastrophic climate change.
At the present state, the global carbon budget will be spent in the next 10 to 14 years. We shouldn’t wait any longer to start reducing emission if we hope to stay below 1.5-degree warming.
Articles have advocated for individual actions as a response to the report for turning off lights, eating less meats, and recycling. One of these articles advises that, if you can’t change your commute by using public transport, you might meet benefit from upgrading to a new hybrid or electric car – while personal choices such as making an investment in renewable energy and eating less meat can certainly make a difference. Although it’s not that simple for many people to be fixing solar panels in their homes, walking to work, or buying a hybrid car – it is not an easy choice.
Emphasizing on individual action makes the responsibility heavy on the shoulder of the people rather than facing the main structure we live in. Like the institutionalized racism that brings discrimination and the capitalist market that generate income inequality. These structures bent our choices; they are what brought this mess in the first place.
The fast change that needs to happen is big and structural. However, here are ways to take action and reverse climate change.
Fight against poverty
There is no doubt that we need to shift to renewable energy and keep fossil fuel aside. While some people can afford solar panel in their homes and electric cars, others may be unable to do the same.
People working multiple jobs may lack the time to take public transportation which is even a lack in the entire neighborhood. When it’s a challenge to pay the heating bill, it may as well be luxury to think about investing in weather thou it might ultimately save a few dollars.
From the earlier published research work these years, it was shown that socio-economic disparity increases the risk of failing to meet emission reduction target. Wealth disparity must be address if the climate change must be reduced. Without an increase in living wages, many people will not be able to afford climate-friendly choice even if they are good choices, due to their pocket. Low-income communities are often hit first and hardest climate change-related disasters. The aftermaths of the disaster only get worse as about half of the people by hurricane Harvey had no savings to help them recover from the damage, and FEMA assistant is but certain.
It is a depravity where low-income communities are more vulnerable to climate-related losses which in a way increase the economic stress and makes it harder to live with climate change.
By fighting against poverty, we can make it possible for people to take action against climate change conveniently while making out more resilient communities in the process.
Support Campaign for a living wage increase, such as the fight for $15, connect with groups fighting against affordable child care like MomsRising and paid leave. Urge your city council to improve basic services like healthcare service and transportation for low-income communities, and also include communities in disaster response planning discussions. Demand for policies that remove barriers to sustainable alternatives like solar panels and hybrids by making them more affordable.
Hold Corporation accountable
Trash accounts for about 3 percent to 5 percent of the all greenhouse gas emissions, when it comes to the materials we use and what we buy, from burger to plastics and clothes, down streaming them to the landfill account for climate change, there should be a way to upstream all this materials back to the companies that manufacture them for recycling.
If climate change as a result of production emission is to be reduced, there is a need to reduce production and hold a corporation responsible for carbon emission.
The corporation should be made to account for climate change by contributing to the supporting policies that remove subsidies and government bailouts. This will surely less competition for sustainability. Support the local policies that would require corporations to pay for climate change impacts.
Earlier this year, a study was released by researcher’s shows that climate deniers are more likely to hold racist beliefs, they also state that “while this trend was apparent during Obama’s tenure, Trump has further fueled it with rhetoric tying to climate change and energy policy.”
Most voices shut down are Women and communities of color that are affected by climate change. Just 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women. In the full history of Fortune 500, there have only 15 Black CEOs. While eighty-one percent of the Congress is White.
Cast your Vote for local city candidates from affected communities, and support other organizations that are clamoring for this change.