Changing your lifestyle is a small part of the solution to the climate crisis

  • A new UN report calls for drastic and immediate cuts in emissions of heat-trapping gases.
  • A small portion of those cuts comes from individual people cycling to work or wasting less food.
  • Policies and influencers like city planners and business leaders can make a bigger difference.

Hundreds of scientists called for immediate and drastic action to cut emissions of heat-trapping gases in a major report last week.

The original goal set out in the historic Paris Agreement—limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures—is fast fading in the rearview mirror. The new report, from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, laid out a roadmap to give the planet one last chance at 1.5 degrees.

The IPCC has warned that emissions of gases such as carbon dioxide and methane must peak as soon as possible, no later than 2025, then fall to half their current levels by 2030, and drop to zero by 2050. it means drastic changes in all sectors. of human life, especially a rapid transition from fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, to renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power.

Conversations about reducing emissions often involve a familiar refrain: What can I do? How can I make my lifestyle more sustainable?

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