We’re in a race against time because of overexploitation of natural resources, environmental degradation, and spiking greenhouse gas emission rates. 97% of scientists agree that human actions are to blame for climate change. When global warming continues unabated, the consequences will be catastrophic. To minimize emissions, most of us know what we can do individually: conserve energy, make wiser consumption decisions, drive less and recycle more, and plan our families more carefully.
But what can be done by the governments of our countries? They have made a significant impact on the world, and discussing their contribution means discussing large-scale policies crucial to everyone’s future.
Promote the Use of Green Energy
Emissions from energy generation account for 35% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. The world is betting on further development but also increased energy output.
Technological advances have enabled us to determine more efficient, cheaper, and better alternatives to hydroelectric and thermoelectric energy that were once known to be the most affordable options. If governments plan ahead, they can avoid using climate-damaging sources of energy (hydropower is not green) and instead choose tiny oceanic, geothermal, solar, and wind initiatives tailored to a place’s specific qualities.
They should focus on a broad portfolio of energy projects, prioritizing those located close to areas where people need it the most, thus, reducing infrastructure and losses. The protection of nature must be a top concern. Everything we do, from our public policies to our strategies, should be assessed with nature in mind, and producing green energy is a promising start.
Provide Support to Small Agricultural Producers
According to the FAO, the meat business is accountable for 15 to 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, surpassing even the transportation industry. It is also the world’s largest source of water contamination and usage. In our world today, 80% of agricultural production is used to raise livestock, not people. Deforestation in the Amazon is mainly caused by the land expansion for crops and animals to feed them.
Governments can create an impact by helping small local producers that, unlike giant industrial farms, use sustainable farming practices, make crops and animals more robust to climate change, benefit local people, and care about the land. A vertical hydroponic farming system is one sustainable way of producing agriculture since it minimizes water and energy usage. It’s not really about going vegan, but it’s providing support to those who supply our food sustainably.
First and foremost, the government must suspend any airport growth and establish a frequent flyer charge to offset the cost of airport expansion. Additionally, they must phase out the selling of new diesel and petrol vehicles in the following decade and assist consumers in making the changeover to electric automobiles.
Across all regions, public transportation should be the preferred mode of travel. Until then, the government needs to ensure that people under-30s have free bus travel, invest in excellent and affordable public transportation choices, and make it easy for individuals to walk and cycle whenever possible. In doing so, they’ll achieve the majority of emission reductions needed in the transportation sector (which is currently the most significant greenhouse gas emission source).
Children and the elderly, who are more susceptible to the impacts of pollution due to traffic noise, will significantly benefit from these constructive initiatives due to a significant improvement in air quality and reduction in traffic noise.
Protection and Restoration of Key Ecosystems
Everyone must respect nature, and the government needs to protect critical ecosystems to best battle climate change. Mangroves, forests, oceans, wetlands, and rivers absorb enormous amounts of carbon, delaying warming. As such, mangroves also act as a barrier against typhoons, and wetlands soak up surplus water from floods, both weather events worsened by climate change.
Healing the natural process is the most viable, realistic, and fair choice since it would benefit humans and all species. It is a race against time for restoration and conservation. Everyone is starting to see concerning natural occurrences, such as forests that have been degraded to the point of losing their capacity to absorb carbon.
Food waste and reliance on short-lived products and single-use plastics (such as electronics and garments) are encouraged by our current system, resulting in a lot of trash that ends up on incinerators, landfills, or in our oceans and waterways.
There is an urgent need to restructure products and reshape the economy to utilize less of the Planet’s resources. To make this happen, government leadership is essential. We can cut climate-damaging emissions by repairing and sharing what we currently use, reusing, and using less. Aside from that, we’ll reduce plastic pollution and make the globe a better place for people and the environment alike.
When communities work together toward a similar objective, they can achieve historical outcomes. People are currently establishing Climate Action organizations and pressuring their local legislators to enact action plans and combat climate breakdown. Consider joining or starting a Climate Action organization near you to help place climate change at the highest political agenda.