Start writing a post

How do we slow the climate clock?

G7 countries are using up their carbon budgets at twice the rate of the global average

How do we slow the climate clock?
shallow focus photo of clear glass globe table ornament
Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash
Jo Hand is an inspirational social entrepreneur and sustainability and carbon footprint specialist on a mission to help people live more sustainably. She is a firm believer that if we have the right tools, we can all play a crucial role in preserving the environment on which we all depend. In 2017 Jo set up Giki, a social enterprise that provides the digital products to help everyone understand and reduce the environmental impacts of their own lifestyles.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jo-hand-27b18a104/?originalSubdomain=uk

So the show is over in Cornwall and I know I'm not alone in being very disappointed that climate change hardly got a look in at the G7. This is despite it being the biggest problem we face among many other big global problems of our time. If world leaders are not able to deliver what is required when it comes to the climate, it's going to be up to us.

Time is running out for politicians to do what is required, so we collectively have to get involved and play our part for the future of our planet and humanity. The good news is there is more we can do as G7 businesses than many of us realise.

As environmentalist Sir David Attenborough said in his recorded address to G7 politicians: "We know in detail what is happening to our planet, and we know many of the things we need to do during this decade. Tackling climate change is now as much a political and communications challenge as it is a scientific or technological one. We have the skills to address it in time, all we need is the global will to do so."

I'm co-founder of Giki, a social enterprise on a mission to help people live sustainably. Giki stands for Get Informed, Know your impact.

Just before the G7 we released research which shows that climate clocks are ticking down faster than previously recognised for G7 countries. The global climate clock shows the world has eight years and five months at current levels of carbon emissions before the carbon budget runs out, resulting in a failure to keep global warming under 1.5 degree Celsius.

However, our analysis shows that G7 countries are using up their carbon budgets at twice the rate of the global average. In fact if everyone lived like people in the G7 countries, we have just four years and one month until the climate clock runs out. That's enough time for just two more Olympics, one US Presidential Election and one World Cup.

In contrast, if we all lived like the poorest 50% of the world's population we'd have 56 years and 6 months left on the climate clock. Bhutan is the only country in the world where the climate clock runs forever because they are carbon negative. Showing it CAN be done!

It is clear from our research that there is a huge amount that needs to be done over the next few years if we are to tackle the climate emergency. Large employers in G7 countries have an important part to play in this. Not only is there huge scope to cut their own operational emissions, they are able to influence millions of people to make much-needed lifestyle changes, which can all add up to make a big difference. For some companies, the combined personal carbon footprint of their employees can be up to 10 times larger than the operational footprint. We've seen some of the big employers we work with in the UK help their employees cut their carbon footprint by an average of a tonne each a year. This is the pace we need every year to keep temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

As employers, we can all take effective but pretty simple steps to support employees to switch to more sustainable lifestyles, like:

  • Cut a Tonne in '21 - this is our most popular step and is aligned with the reductions required to align with the Paris 1.5 degree targets.
  • Team virtual cook-alongs, showing staff how to cook plant-based meals
  • Some healthy camaraderie, and competition on cutting carbon footprints together, using gamification, team challenges and leaderboards.

The organisations we work with have also seen great success through setting challenges which tap into the natural competitiveness between teams. It is incredible to see how much can be achieved by these forward-thinking businesses and gives me hope in the face of frustration at the lack of collective action from world leaders.

To find out more about how employers can play their part visit https://giki.earth/

Individuals can also sign up to Giki and see their own personal climate clock.

Why as a mum and a psychologist I want us to talk more about dads

I am psychologist at the University of Sussex whose work is focused on supporting and researching parents - it has become clear to me that we need to worker harder to support the mental health of fathers. Here's why.

Why as a mum and a psychologist I want us to talk more about dads

Fatherhood

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

I am stood in the kitchen experiencing a jangling combination of exhilaration, because my infant daughter has gone to sleep, and dread, because in just four hours she will wake up again.


Keep reading... Show less

Children have a place on the frontlines of the culture wars

What Should We Do When the Culture Wars Invade Our Children’s Lives?

Children have a place on the frontlines of the culture wars

You know when there’s a controversy whether to include both sides to the Holocaust in a Texas school district, the culture wars have once again invaded the children’s lives. Similarly, in Southern Pennsylvania, books by people of color were banned (or per the official Central York School statement: “frozen” for an entire year.)

These discussions by the school boards are impacted by the bills passed in government, as in the case of House Bill 3979 requiring public school teachers to present various points of view when teaching about current events and social issues. Often, the impulse to clutch pearls and to “think of the children” is a rhetorical device to further political causes. As the larger climate in a racialized society such as the United States grapple with a history of slavery and the fight for racial justice--with the most current iteration being the black lives matter protests in the summer of 2020--what the children learn in schools have become a new battleground for those who land on opposing sides of this culture war.

Keep reading... Show less
#StartTheConversation by joining us on
x

Join our new platform for free and your post can reach a huge audience on Indy100 and The Independent join