What Are The Real Solutions To Climate Change?

  • by Vivienne Austin

Climate change has become a ubiquitous topic, permeating our daily lives through various channels such as newspapers, social media, and conversations with those around us. Its impact is evident in the extreme weather patterns we experience, ranging from scorching summers to bitter cold winters, and the disruptions it inflicts upon natural habitats. The breadth of its effects is extensive, touching every corner of the

At the heart of all climate change solutions lies the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, aiming for zero emissions as quickly as possible. Enhancing the natural carbon dioxide absorption capabilities of forests and oceans is crucial since both play key roles in climate regulation and can aid in combating global warming. While governmental initiatives are essential for implementing these changes and practices, progress has been slow despite the 197 signatures of the Paris Agreement in 2015. As individuals, there are tangible actions we can take to contribute to addressing climate change, and one of them is to pressure governments to take some life changing decisions. So, what should we be pressuring them about?



Preserve fossil fuels underneath the surface

Fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and gas, contribute to worsening climate change when extracted and burned. It is crucial for all nations to transition their economies away from reliance on fossil fuels promptly.


Invest in renewable energy

Switching our primary energy sources to clean and sustainable options is the most effective method to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. These technologies encompass solar, wind, wave, tidal, and geothermal power.


Switch to sustainable transportation

Petrol and diesel vehicles, planes, and ships rely on fossil fuels. By decreasing car usage, transitioning to electric vehicles, and limiting air travel, we can combat climate change and decrease air pollution simultaneously.


Maintaining warm homes

 It's undesirable and expensive to have homes feel cold and drafty, particularly during winter. The government can aid in warming households in an eco-friendly manner such as insulating walls and roofs, or transitioning from oil or gas boilers to heat pumps.


Enhance agriculture and promote vegan diets

To combat climate change effectively, one of the most impactful actions individuals can take is to decrease their consumption of meat and dairy products, or transition to a fully vegan diet. Businesses and food providers can support this shift by enhancing farming techniques and offering a wider range of plant-based alternatives.


Enhance nature to capture more carbon

The natural environment excels at mitigating our emissions, necessitating our care. Initiating tree planting in appropriate locations or returning land to nature through 'rewilding' initiatives is an excellent initial step. This is due to the fact that photosynthetic plants absorb carbon dioxide while they mature, sequestering it in the soil.


Protect forests

Forests such as the Amazon are crucial in the fight against climate change, and protecting them is an important climate solution. As we know, trees cut up huge amounts of carbon, and yet companies destroy forests to make way for animal farming, soya or palm oil plantations. Governments must intervene with robust legislation to halt these destructive practices.


Safeguard the oceans

Oceans also play a crucial role in absorbing significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, contributing to climate stability. However, many oceans are being overfished, utilised for oil and gas exploration, or endangered by deep-sea mining activities. Protecting the oceans and their biodiversity is essential not only for marine life but also for safeguarding our planet from further the impacts of climate change.


Decrease individual consumption

Various aspects of our daily lives such as transportation, fashion, food, and our lifestyle choices exert varying impacts on the climate.. This is often intentional – companies in the fashion and technology industries, for instance, tend to produce an excess of products beyond actual demand. Although cutting down on the consumption of these goods may pose challenges, the effort is undeniably valuable. Lowering overall consumption levels in affluent nations can alleviate pressure on the environment.


Reduce plastic

As we know, plastic is produced from oil, and the process of extracting, refining, and converting oil into plastic -andr even polyester for clothing - is unexpectedly carbon-intensive. Furthermore, plastic does not decompose rapidly in nature - it can take anywhere from 20 to 500 years to decompose, and even then, it never fully disappears; it just gets smaller and smaller - so a significant amount of plastic is incinerated, contributing to emissions or discarded in our seas, polluting the waters and fish living in it. The demand for plastic is still increasing, and by 2050, the production and disposal of plastics will make up 17% of the global carbon budget (the emissions limit required by the Paris Agreement).


Finding actionable solutions to the climate change shouldn’t just be a responsibility of the governments though, but an ethical responsibility of each individual. In fact, there’s a lot we can adopt as individuals from the solutions highlighted above. From transitioning to a vegan diet to switching to more sustainable transportation and reducing plastic usage in our daily life. Yet, the most impactful action against climate change involves collective efforts. This entails urging governments and corporations to alter their policies and operational approaches. Genuine climate change solutions should prioritise people over profits.


[Information sourced on greenpeace.org.uk, un.org and aljazeera.com

Images sourced on canva.com]


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