Environmental issues

Big environmental issues we should all be talking about

Greenpeace claims that the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has exploded and is now at levels not seen for millions of years.

The environmental organization WWF also says that we must drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions of human origin and move towards renewable energies.

It means changing the way we heat and power our homes, use water, eliminate food, and drive our cars.

The vast majority of vehicles are currently powered by fossil fuels and Greenpeace activists have urged the government to speed up its plans phase out gasoline and diesel cars by 2030.

They even claim it could create 30,000 new jobs in industries such as energy, battery manufacturing and retail.

“The government has no more excuses. We need a firm commitment to ban new polluting cars and vans by 2030, as well as an active industrial strategy to boost manufacturing and support retraining, so that workers can benefit from the new jobs that will be created. across the economy, ”Greenpeace UK policy said. director Doug Parr.

“The rewards are there for the taking. It’s time for the Prime Minister to plug in and put electric vehicles on a fast track until 2030. ”

Our diet is also a major factor and experts agree that we need to eat less meat due to the huge levels of deforestation and greenhouse gas production from the meat industry.

A group of leading medical organizations recently said meat and dairy products should have labels show the environmental impact of their production.

Kristin Bash, Faculty of Public Health, said it was important that we change our diets.

“We cannot achieve our goals without attacking our food system,” she said. “The climate crisis is not something we should be seeing this far into the future. Now is the time to take these issues seriously.

Green infrastructure

Bigger changes will also be needed to overhaul the system as a whole. Lord Deben, chairman of the Climate Change Committee, said action will need to be taken to build a green and climate resilient economy.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Deben said immediate investment was needed in low-carbon infrastructure such as improved broadband.

Rather than building new roads, Deben added infrastructure to make walking and cycling easier.

Deben said: “Recovery means investing in new jobs, cleaner air and better health. The actions needed to fight climate change are essential to rebuilding our economy.

“The government must prioritize actions that reduce climate risks and avoid actions that block higher emissions. “

There is some good news. Renewable energy is grow at record levels and the International Energy Agency estimates that greener electricity will replace coal by 2025.

Climate inequality

Experts said it is important that our transition to a greener economy is inclusive.

This means that the policy must be developed in partnership with communities to ensure that the costs and benefits of ambitious climate action are shared in a fair and equitable manner.

A briefing paper by academics from the COP26 university network said job creation by itself was not enough and it was important to consider how much green jobs are paid for and how much they were sure.

Dr Tom Pegram of University College London, the lead author of the report, said low-skilled workers could be affected by decarbonization.

Pegram said: “The individuals, households and communities who are at risk of being most negatively affected by decarbonization policies are often already the losers in existing socio-economic arrangements.

“Covid-19 was a blunt reminder that socio-economic disruptions tend to worsen existing social inequalities, we must not make the same mistake with decarbonization policies. ”

Recovering from the pandemic

For now, Covid-19 will be everyone’s main concern. Although many have said now is the perfect time to reassess our outlook and tackle the climate crisis.

According to new research by the European Environment Agency, containments linked to Covid-19 may have had positive impacts on our environment, particularly in terms of emissions and air quality.

But despite these improvements, there have been environmental drawbacks, including an increase in single-use plastics.

The Climate Change Committee urged the government to use the pandemic to rebuild the nation and create a stronger, cleaner economy.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change should be an integral part of any recovery plan,” Lord Deben said in his letter to the Prime Minister.

“These remain scientific, economic and social imperatives and will only be met if ambitious measures are taken during this legislature.”

Big Issue’s Today for Tomorrow campaign aims to tackle the climate crisis, poverty and pandemics with the Future Generations Wellbeing Bill. Support the bill by emailing your MP today: bigissue.com/today-pour-demain/



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