The lock-downs taking place in most countries due to corona virus show that human behaviour when pressured can change.
A lot has been said about climate change, treaties signed, agreements made, conventions held, all aimed at addressing climate change. But there is still lack of real action to STOP altogether change behaviour and reduce carbon emissions.
Corona virus has managed in the short term to bring everything and everyone to a stop.
Biggest changes we see is air pollution because of less traffic on our roads and in the skies above.
People are working from home and there has been less travel.
Change is possible.
When facing danger to life we have demonstrated that change is possible.
The question being addressed by our is article is whether there is any room for change when facing depletion to natural resources and a threat to our climate.
Attempts to help climate change
Over the years climate change activists and leaders have lobbied governments, the private sector and powerful players able to influence policy to do something about climate change.
There are quiet a number of treaties and agreements in support of our planet. Just to mention a couple of these, Kyoto Protocol is an example. Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan in 1997 and came into force on 16 February 2005 according to (Wikipedia). It is an international treaty that is backed by science that global warming is happening, aimed at reducing green gas emissions.
The Paris agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change (UNFCCC) aimed at reducing greenhouse emission and reducing climate change.
There are also economic policies such as payment of carbon taxes that are paid by those parties that continue to burn carbon based fuels such as coal, oil and gas. Carbon tax is aimed as a deterrent, ‘the tax charges a fee on fossil fuels based on how much carbon they emit when burned’ (science.howstuffworks.com).
The less carbon you emit the less you pay.
Although carbon taxes are aimed as a deterrent, rich countries and players aspiring to be economic leaders can still manage to pay such taxes.
It hurts the poor.
In June 2017 President Trump announced that he wanted to pull the US out of Paris agreement. In 2019 Trump administration gave a formal notice, intention to leave climate deal and exit Paris climate agreement which means that the US will be the only country in the world not to participate in the agreement.
It is important that those making life changing decisions about us and future generations start practicing what they preach and convince others in the process.
There’s an opportunity for change
According to quora.com humans have a way of adopting to their environment. ‘Clothing, cooling and heating houses, building cities. We turn forests into meadows and meadows into forests. We make food to suit us rather than have to adapt to natures food sources’.
We as humans are able to manipulate our environment to our advantage but at the end of the day we need to give the environment (earth) an opportunity to breathe and replenish.
- We should start looking at ways of reducing emissions without disabling the economy.
- Ways of reducing emissions without having redundancies
- keeping production and goods going.
- strengthening our banks, European central bank, Bank of England, World bank and others.
The 2008 recession hurt the world economy and banks, we are seeing the same thing now with corona virus.
Already the European Bank is looking at how they can make the euro zone stronger after corona virus and US is looking at how to make America stronger, same is the UK and rest of the world.
But lets look at how we can make our planet better and how we can replenish our resources, not just making money. As corona epidemic has shown, our money and wealth is useless if we can’t figure out our very survival.
Trade and commerce
Trade and commerce has brought us a lot of good. Travel has become easier, common and accessible. Once viewed as belonging to the rich and famous, budget flight industry or low cost carriers provide a no frills air travel in exchange for cheap flights. Also targeting popular destinations.
Henry Ford in the 1920’s mass produced ford vehicles and created thousands of jobs. ‘Advances in assembly-line efficiency created a truly affordable automobile, making car ownership a possibility for many Americans,’ (khanacademy.org.
We have seen cheap products coming from China, giving access to gadgets such as mobile phones and so on.
Cottage industries have been replaced by cheaper products made in Bangladeshi and other developing countries where there is cheap labour. Therefore creating a lot of air miles but arguably providing jobs to poorer countries.
These are just a few examples of some of the benefits we have continued to enjoy without giving much thought about climate change.
Way forward: C02 holiday breaks
- a day/ week lock-downs on production
- air travel
- road traffic
We have seen in the past where individuals car share , or are encouraged to use public transport.
Quiet a number of people cycle to work.
In a nutshell it can be done,
But are businesses ready for this?
With a rise in nationalism America wants to be great again. Trump despises China’s economic growth. Britain wants to be GREAT.
If climate change can show that our lives are in imminent danger, change can happen. But it requires mature leadership.