What Can I Do About Climate Change?

It has been reported that human activity is impacting the climate in irreversible ways this month. The assessment of the future of our planet has been delivered by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report makes it clear that we cannot continue as we are, global temperatures are increasing, extreme weather is becoming more frequent and sea levels are rising – all of which are dangerous for our future.

The IPCC’s latest climate report may have you wondering what you can do about climate change. If you would like to reduce your environmental impact here are some of the impactful actions you can take.

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Has the IPCC’s latest climate report have you wondering what you can do about climate change?


What does the IPCC report say?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a group of scientists whose findings are endorsed by governments across the world. Their report is a review of the science of climate change and comes ahead of a the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. Some of the key points from the report are:

  • Global surface temperature was 1.09C higher between 2011-2020 than 1850-1900.
  • The past five years have been the hottest on record since 1850.
  • The recent rate of sea level rise has nearly tripled.
  • Human influence is “very likely” (90%) the main driver of the global retreat of glaciers and the decrease in Arctic sea-ice. 
  • It is “virtually certain” that hot extremes including heatwaves have become more frequent and more intense, while cold events have become less frequent and less severe.

How Can I Reduce my Impact on the Planet?

We can all take steps to reduce our impact on the planet. From reducing our personal impact to encouraging those around us to do the same, and making it harder for businesses and governments to ignore the evidence. Here are 4 steps you can take today to help fight climate change.


Move your Money to a Greener Home

Our money has power. By banking and investing with a company, you’re giving them the power to use your money for good (or bad). There are still many high street banks that use our money to invest in non-renewable energy, nuclear technology and war. You can make an informed decision about who you do your every day banking with by using the Ethical Consumer current account guide to ethical banking.

This may be surprising to some but you can also use your pension as a force for good. Green pensions’ are defined as pensions that help address climate change. PensionBee offer one of the UK’s first mainstream fossil fuel free pensions (they do this by exclude the planet’s biggest polluters and making socially responsible investments). You can easily switch your old pensions to PensionBee and manage it all online.

If you hold other investments you can do some digging into how ethical they are too. There are 3 widely used ethical investment strategies: SRI (Socially Responsible Investing), ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance), and Impact Investing. I made a personal promise to move all my investments (including any free shares I’ve gained through the Freetrade referral scheme) to green and ethical funds and shares.


Buy and Consume Less

One of the best things you can do to reduce your personal impact on the planet is to simply buy and consume less. Before you buy a product think about what it has taken to get that product on the shelf – from gathering materials, to production, and shipping – these all greatly impact on the planet. We can take a stand against fast fashion, single-use plastic and cheap labour by simply refusing to buy these products.

Repurpose items you already have, buy second-hand, and shop local. Borrow instead of buying, walk instead of driving, turn the power off, learn to grow or make your own.

Buying and consuming is sometimes unavoidable, if this is the case look for the most green alternative. One easy swap is switching to a green energy provider (Bulb, M&S and Octopus all offer cheap green tariffs).


Educate

Once you’ve reduced your own impact it’s time to encourage other to do the same. Make it your mission to get sustainability on the agenda. Tell your friends about green pensions and growing their own veg. Ask your employer what they plan to do about climate change. Write to your MP, share helpful sustainability tips on social media. The more people that join the conversation the better, make it so that business have no choice but to reduce their impact on the planet.

Make sure to teach your children too. Our children are the future of this planet – luckily they seem to be more aware and passionate about climate change than the generation before but we must all continue to learn.


Give Back

You don’t need money to give back to the planet. I choose to litter pick in my local area (bringing back any recyclables ready for the next recyclable collection). But there are lots of ways that you can raise money for environmental causes.

If you have the money, you could also consider carbon offsetting. Carbon offset schemes allow you to invest in environmental projects around the world in order to balance out your own carbon footprint. Lots of these schemes involve planting trees and investing in clean energy technologies.

If you have a garden – put it to use by allowing it to grow, collect rainwater to water your plants, plant trees, grow your own fruit and veg. Treat your garden as your own carbon offsetting project.


More Ways to Fight Climate Change

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint At Home

4 Steps Towards An Ethical Money Makeover

5 Ways to Earn Money That Are Good For The Environment

List Of The Best Sustainability Apps

Plastic Free July – Sustainable Ideas

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