Written by David Peters, Director at Coalternative Energy
COP28 has just concluded, with allegations emerging that the hosts planned to use it as a business opportunity to strike new fossil fuel deals and world leaders showing their appetite for making urgent climate changes by flying to the conference via private jet. As we now face Christmas, with record-breaking heatwaves in Spain and forecasters now predict one of the UK’s warmest December days to date in Scotland, it’s not the warmth from the fire that I’m feeling.
As the holiday season approaches and we eagerly encourage our kids to make wish lists for Santa Claus, it’s worth reflecting on the most significant gift our children could ever receive: a sustainable planet. Climate change is a pressing global issue that threatens our environment, our way of life, and future generations.
This year, more than ever, all I want for Christmas is some real action on climate change.
The Urgency of Climate Change
Climate change is not a future problem; it’s a present crisis. We’ve witnessed its devastating effects with record-breaking wildfires, increasingly severe hurricanes, rising sea levels, and extreme heatwaves. These events have caused loss of life, economic turmoil, and displacement of communities worldwide.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued alarming reports highlighting the urgency of addressing this crisis. Their research indicates that global temperatures must be limited to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels to prevent catastrophic consequences. Beyond this threshold, we risk triggering feedback loops that could accelerate global warming and make the situation irreparable.
It’s not ‘time for change’. It’s time for desperate, urgent, earth-healing ACTION. Anything less is just greenwashing.
What Can We Do?
Here’s just some ways we can make a very real difference.
Transition to Renewable Energy: One of the most effective ways to combat climate change is to transition away from fossil fuels and embrace renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. Governments and businesses must invest in clean energy infrastructure and support research and development in this field. For countries still heavily reliant on coal, black pellets offer a sustainable solution right now – with the added benefit of reducing the risk of forest fires and no further investment in infrastructure required. It’s a no brainer!
Encourage climate investment: High Net Wealth Investors should be encouraged to move away from legacy fuel investments that harm the planet and instead be supported to invest in schemes and technologies that will promote a greener future. The yields are normally high on these investments anyway, but there’s so many other reasons to encourage this, why wouldn’t you want to do it?
Carbon Pricing: Implementing carbon pricing mechanisms, such as carbon taxes or cap-and-trade systems, can incentivize individuals and corporations to reduce their carbon emissions. These measures encourage sustainable practices and promote the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Reforestation and Afforestation: Forests act as natural carbon sinks, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Protecting existing forests and planting new ones can help offset carbon emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Sustainable Transportation: Promoting public transportation, electric vehicles, and active transportation modes like cycling and walking can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.
International Cooperation: Climate change is a global issue that requires international collaboration. Countries must work together to set ambitious emissions reduction targets and uphold their commitments under the Paris Agreement – not meet up for a chin wag, a jolly and another smokescreen via private jet.
Education and Advocacy: Raising awareness about climate change and advocating for meaningful action is crucial. Individuals can support climate-friendly policies and lifestyle changes, encouraging others to do the same.
Mindful shopping: What we buy can really make a difference. Simple things like switching to a palm-oil free brand of peanut butter can send signals to manufacturers that consumers care where they source their ingredients. Likewise, when buying gifts, think about the messages we send. Maybe even consider gifts that keep on giving, such as a charity adoption or sponsorship of wild animals to encourage children to learn about endangered wildlife. However it doesn’t have to be massive – just making sure we only buy cards and gift wrap that can be recycled sends a message to producers that they need to be more mindful.
This holiday season, let’s ask for more than material gifts; let’s ask for a sustainable future. Climate change is not a problem that can be solved with wishful thinking alone, but with collective action and determination. We owe it to ourselves, our children, and the planet to demand real action on climate change from our leaders, businesses, and communities.
By transitioning to clean energy, implementing effective policies, and fostering a global commitment to combat climate change, we can work towards a brighter and more sustainable future. All I want for Christmas is a planet where future generations can thrive, and that begins with taking action on climate change today.