THE WORLD WAITS
It’s impossible to escape the news of COP 27 - the 27th year that world leaders have gathered for critical talks on our environment - this year in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
President Biden is there, UK’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, France’s President Macron and Germany’s Chancellor Scholz. But this year, a critical voice won’t be: Greta Thunberg is staying away. She speaks for millions of concerned people around the world but is fed up with all the talk and little progress. So what really is the point?
The financial situation globally is such that progress could be derailed, including some of the previous commitments. With global inflation and living costs at all time highs, populations are experiencing climate change fatigue. When a single mother struggles to feed her two kids, or a city worker barely keeps up with the rent, issues like carbon emissions take a backseat. Preaching doesn’t cut through. Nations leaders need to take the big decisions but how can they goad everyday people into action? We all need a bit of a push - simple guidance that makes sense. Earlier this year France banned all domestic flights that could be achieved by a 2.5hr train journey. Logical. Great. Now how can we transfer that thinking to our fossil fueled car journeys?
Our leaders need to provide a concise roadmap with day to day actions. Why not cut our fossil fuel car journeys in half and replace them with emission-free travel instead? Now that’s a clear step. Just imagine, half of all car emissions vanishing overnight. With a global population of 8 billion and a growing consciousness around the problem, we could rise to that challenge.
Let’s not forget how our awesome communities came together during Covid for a common fight. As human beings, when a crisis strikes we have a natural instinct for solidarity. There probably needs to be a carrot and a bit of a stick to mobilise the masses, it's by no means impossible. Politicians are sometimes incapable of seeing what’s right in front of them. But aren’t we all on one team in this fight? The goal is a global one. We only have one planet.
It’s an uncomfortable truth, but 27% of global carbon emissions come from 1% of the world’s population. It is indeed the middle and higher income nations who account for the most substantial proportion of the world’s carbon emissions.
We no longer have an excuse. Technology is empowering us with access to clean, more sustainable means of travel. We can all choose to walk, ride or jump on mass transit. Electric mobility is small but growing - it's often better for your wellbeing, saves you money, and it can be fast and fun.
Clean green energy is available now: with an average speed in city traffic between 4 & 8mp/h, why wouldn’t we want to escape the car? Not to mention the added benefits of cleaner air and improved health.
Let’s see how much our leaders can drive impactful change this year. These long term macro oriented policies are long overdue and take time to implement, so let's act together as one - one movement for one world - and each contribute to a cleaner planet. If world leaders see our actions as vote winners the tide will turn and quickly.