How can we really stop climate change?

With all of the attention, debate, and information surrounding the existence of climate change, it can easily seem like an overwhelming challenge to take on. Around the globe, people are learning about, and directly experiencing, the threat of this crisis. Whether it be from enduring extreme weather conditions, or from witnessing environmental degradation, the impacts of climate change are widespread. The first step towards saving our planet starts on the individual level, and goes all the way to the actions of world leaders and powerful corporations.

One of the key solutions to slowing climate change is to tackle carbon emissions. By curbing human emissions of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, society can work to slow the rise of Earth’s global temperature, which has been steadily increasing. In this global movement, all of society must come to the rescue of the Earth — there is no planet b. On a smaller scale, individuals can personally contribute to the fight against climate change by reducing their carbon footprint. To do so, people may take steps like riding public transportation, reducing their meat consumption, transitioning to eco-friendly services, and being politically active. For instance, individuals may use internet search engines like Treegle.org or Ecosia.org, which donate money to planting trees for every web search. In addition, by being an active political constituent, individuals can ensure that their elected officials are making environmentally friendly decisions regarding power and development. These steps are all practical, effective, and can be easily implemented into everyday life.

In terms of facilitating widespread positive environmental change, corporations must take the initiative. According to a Carbon Majors report, since 1998, only 25 corporate and state producers were responsible for over half of the industrial greenhouse gas emissions. That being so, they are extensively contributing to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. To effectively slow climate change, these businesses need to transition to fueling our power sector with clean, renewable energy sources that do not contribute to our existing climate problems. For instance, to make significant change, they can trade out energy from fossil fuel combustion for renewable energy sources like hydro and solar power. Not only will this transition help provide jobs and promote economic prosperity, but it will reduce carbon emissions and the consequent damage to our planet.

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