When you think about the year 2100, it’s hard to conceptualize.
Andri Snær Magnason, Icelandic writer and poet, said that is how a lot of people think about climate change.
Something that is far off. Disconnected from the present.
In a recent NPR interview, Magnason compared this idea to a blackhole. We’ve all heard about blackholes, but the scale is so vast that it feels out of reach. Much like climate change, it can be hard to fully comprehend.
Climate change and the necessary action to combat it can sound a bit intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be, especially when you think about all it entails.
The answer? Almost everything.
Source: John Englart, CC License
According to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, climate action is No. 13.
It is defined as “efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-induced impacts.”
This can include:
climate-related hazards in all countries;
integrating climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning;
improving education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity with respect to climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.
But the climate crisis is about more than just the climate.
Source: The United Nations
It is linked to all sustainable development goals, which also include life on land, life below water, access to clean and affordable clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, economic health and more.
It's about overuse of resources.
It’s about realigning priorities for a more sustainable planet.
It’s about access to renewable energy.
It’s about placing value on our communities, our people and our resiliency.
Climate action tackles ecological threats.
It addresses air pollution and the inequity of those who live with the impacts of said pollution.
It holds leaders and corporations accountable for their actions and their choices in the fight against climate change.
It’s a public health issue. It’s an economic issue. It’s an education issue. It spans policy and generations, and requires action from all sectors and at all levels.
Without action, the world’s average surface temperature is projected to rise and is likely to surpass 3 degrees Celsius—with some areas of the world expected to warm more and sooner than others.
A warmer world, even by a half-degree Celsius, has consequences. Changing conditions put our agriculture, our health, our water supply and much more at risk. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, it also leads to more intense rain and natural disasters, a threat that continues to leave many regions vulnerable.
Climate action is action for people and for the planet, not just for the present but for the future. That’s why we need it.
As scientist and activist Dr. Jane Goodall said, “what you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
It’s an individual, local, national and global effort. And it can start with each and every one of us.
Learn more about how you can take climate action in your own community. Join our mailing list for information and updates about how we’re trying to create a clean and affordable renewable energy future for you.