What if, this year, we could all commit to just one New Year’s resolution? What if everyone across the world got involved? Imagine if every single one of us decided to cut a tonne off our carbon footprint in 2021. That is millions, potentially billions of tonnes of carbon we could save, helping to reduce the climate crisis.
That’s why at Giki, we are working with many different organisations to help people, across the UK and beyond to Cut a Tonne in ’21.
On a global basis, individuals account for almost three quarters of greenhouse gas emissions so people play a major role, along with policy and business transformation, in reaching national and international net zero targets. And as much as we can all make changes, the role of policy in enabling a transition to net zero is crucial, both at national and international level. We also need mainstream businesses to change and provide products and services that are sustainable (and affordable).
In the UK, we have an average carbon footprint of nine tonnes per person per annum. This covers individual carbon emissions cover homes, transport, food, goods and services, based on our own consumption-based analysis, and compares to five tonnes globally.
The encouraging news it is possible to win the race and we’ve just written a report with Dr Richard Carmichael from Imperial College London to show you how. We can all reduce emissions by cutting back and cutting out, replace emissions by switching to lower carbon alternatives and repair the damage we’ve done by restoring ecosystems and removing carbon with projects like tree planting and, or course, improving soil quality.
As many believe, this will be a mass, community effort.
Professor Tim O’Riordan, of the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, says: “The lead up to the opening of COP 26 gives us all the time to find the most suitable ways to cut a tonne of our carbon equivalent emissions by its 1 November 2021 opening in Glasgow.
“The cutting of a tonne is a communal task, shared with everyone and leading to a better world for everyone. If the whole of the United Kingdom can do this through joint but variable contributions, what a wonderful contribution that would be for the healthy future of this planet and its peoples.”
So here are five ideas from Giki Zero to help get you started:
1. Switch to renewable energy
2. Turn your thermostat down by 1C and see how it feels
3. Choose a bank or building society that does not support fossil fuel companies
4. Eat animal products just once a day
5. Give up flying long haul
Good luck and don’t feel shy to encourage others to join you in ‘Cutting a Tonne in ’21’. The more of us, the better it is for everyone, across the world.