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How to fight climate change – The impact you can have as an individual

Clim8 Team

23 April 2021 SustainabilitySustainable Investing

how to fight climate change

Climate catastrophe-lead headlines fill our newsfeeds on a daily basis. And the frequency appears to have  been increasing exponentially since the start of the COVID crisis. From Australian bushfires that burn for months [1] to devastating hurricanes in the Caribbean [2], it has been near impossible to escape these devastating events and reports. For some, it can be rather overwhelming at times, especially when linked with a sense of helplessness. However, we believe there are many ways in which you as an individual can help fight climate change with your daily actions.

Discover your power – how can individuals make a difference?

How you choose to live your life can have an impact every single day. What changes can you make to maximise that impact and help fight climate change? Here are some of our views:

  • Transport – if possible, switch your main mode of transport to cycling (running is even better) [3] and reduce your total emissions by up to 11% [4].
  • Shopping – buy products and services from low carbon footprint companies. Apps such as CoGo and Pawprint can point you to eco-friendly options for different/various aspects of your life.
  • Food waste – minimise food waste and decrease your emissions by as much as 30% [5]. Olio encourages users to impart unwanted food to others, whilst chef Jamie Oliver, publishes waste-curbing recipes.
  • Diet – move to a vegetarian diet and slash your emissions a further 25% [6]. 
  • Less is more – buy less. Full stop. And when you do buy something, select long-lasting, quality items.
  • Energy – switch to a renewable energy contract to take your emissions down a further 26% [7].
  • Packaging – choose unpackaged products and take your own bags when out shopping. Zero-waste shops encourage customers to use refillable food containers whilst local fruit and veg shops rarely use plastic-wrapped produce.
  • Travel – where possible when going on holiday, opt for ground transport over air. Traveling by train can emit as much as 66% fewer emissions [8]. If unavoidable, offset your emissions using a company like ClimatePartner.

Your greatest impact

One vital component is missing from the list above – money. How and where you put your money is one of the most efficient and impactful ways to make a difference [9] .

Since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, global banks have invested USD 2.7 trillion in fossil fuel companies [10]. Sadly, this figure continues to rise despite countries setting ambitious targets to prevent our planet warming more than 1.5 degrees.

Thankfully, you no longer need to invest in fossil fuels to make money. According to Nordea Bank’s recent research, choosing to place your money in a sustainable bank or investing in a sustainable fund is proven to have 27 times more impact on your carbon footprint than eating less meat, using public transport, reducing water use, and flying less [9].

As David Attenborough so eloquently put it, “it is crazy that our banks and our pensions are investing in fossil fuels, when these are the very things that are jeopardising the future we are saving for”.

Capital at risk. For illustration purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

Sources

[1] BBC Newsround

[2] The Guardian

[3] Healthline

[4] Institute for Transportation & Development Policy

[5] The Guardian

[6] NewScientist

[7] OVO Energy

[8] BBC News

[9] Nordea

[10] Forbes

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