Climate change has affected us all, even if some might deny it. It is already happening everywhere, from the Arctic, the tropics to the icy continent of Antarctica.
Tragically, those who contribute the least to the causes of climate change actually feel the worst of it.
The small island nations of the Pacific: Kiribati, for instance, is on the verge of collapse and loss of statehood not because of what they did, but because the actions of other big nations send its fatal consequences to their peaceful island.
In fact, all nations in the Pacific are very sensitive to the environment because they feel an intimate connection to nature. They respect nature for it gives them life. Unfortunately, not everyone treat the environment in the same way.
The main problem here is the fact that humans simply took and took natural resources, no matter how unsustainable they are, just to satisfy needs.
As a matter of fact, 66 million carbon emissions have been recorded in 2016 by scientists who observed the thinning ozone layer. More resource extractions cannot go on forever so there is an urgent need for renewable energies.
The international community has already started the road to combat the clear dangers of environmental degradation. Countries from the West and East converged together to sign the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.
With promises on reducing carbon emissions, protecting waters and wildlife, and shifting from fossil fuel to renewable energies, these signatory countries gradually passed laws and policies pertaining to better environmental protection in their respective territories.
Many countries already employ renewable energies successfully.
Costa Rica, Sweden and Iceland fully power their entire land through hydropower and geothermal heat and even saved millions of dollars in the process. Albania and Paraguay are 100% based on hydropower energy.
China, the so-called “factory of the world” is already empowering its citizens to monitor the environment and is even heavily dependent not on carbon, but on solar energy right now.
Most importantly, Australia, who is responsible for around 1.3 per cent of global emissions, is already transitioning to an oil-free and carbon-free economy.
With a $2.55 billion Emissions Reduction Fund and its Safeguard Mechanism, Australia targets a 50-52 per cent reduction in emissions per capita and a 64-65 per cent reduction in the emissions intensity of the economy between 2005 and 2030.
Significant court cases have also filed in defense of environment such as the victorious Urgenda case in the Netherlands which has also inspired Environmental Justice Australia to advocate for a similar lawsuit against the Australian government.
All these efforts are very commendable but they are still far from solving the problem.
The US President Trump has just callously repealed Obama’s Climate Change policies, backtracking towards coal.
The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is slowly dying due to damage from pollution and climate change.
The Arctic and Antarctic glaciers are rapidly melting, posing the danger of rising sea levels and extinction of polar-based species.
There is still so much to be done.
But let’s not lose hope. We can still do this! As long as we have the will, we can work together to solve the problem of climate change.
Individually, let’s change our lives to stand up against climate change!
We can live a waste-free life by shifting to an organic diet, recycling our trash, and turning to re-usable containers and bags instead of plastics.
Collectively and to create more impact, we should choose our leaders and vote for those who care about the environment.