Climate change is already having drastic effects on our planets: sea levels are rising, lakes and rivers are disappearing and the world is getting ever hotter. We have witnessed over the past few years that changes in temperature, and greenhouse gas emissions, have also had a major effect on global weather systems. The Caribbean Islands and Southern states of the USA have witnessed the most devastating hurricane seasons over the last few years, costing hundreds of lives and billions of pounds worth of damage. In the UK we have seen repeated flooding and an increased number of storms over the past few years. It is obvious that we need to do more to tackle this climate emergency, so that we can prevent more of the damage we have been witnessing in recent times.
Reduce Carbon Emissions
The increase in carbon emissions that we have been responsible for, mostly since the start of the 20th century, has had a catastrophic effect on our atmosphere. The rapid increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has created and artificially stimulated heating effect that traps more of the heat generated by the sun’s radiation. Because of the increased temperature the world is experiencing and ever-increasing frequency of environmental disasters: these include the Australia bush fires, the desertification of the Sahel region in Africa and the drying up of many of the world’s natural sources of drinkable water. To reduce carbon emissions, on the scale necessary to reduce global temperatures, requires a complete systemic change in the way we use resources as a society.
Restore our Rainforests
Rainforests are essential for the health of our planet: They absorb Co2, positively control weather patterns and are home to many thousands of plant and animal species. In recent years the worlds rainforests have been under constant assault from mass deforestation. Millions upon millions of trees have been cut down and sold, with most of the space then being used for agricultural purposes: for either livestock or to grow crops such as oil palms. It is essential for the health of our planet that this space is reclaimed for the rainforest.
Support More Sustainable Initiatives
In the past 10 years the world has seen a huge increase in climate awareness which has led to huge progress in fields such as renewable energy, sustainable business practice and climate awareness education. Despite the progress being made our society is still largely dependent on older, and more destructive practices. If we are going to improve our planet then each of us must support more sustainable solutions. This may include buying products from businesses with sustainable supply chains, investing in sustainable companies and choose the lifestyle options that have the lowest possible carbon footprint.
Find out more about SDG 13 here