The recent sentiments by the President of The United States (POTUS) that this is going to be decisive decade for tackling climate change could not come at a better time when the world is wrestling with the reality of harsh impacts of climate change.
The comments come ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow that comes later in November 2021. World leaders will be coming together to address the urgency of climate change and to reassure of their commitment to the Paris Agreement. This is a clear indication that for the planet to be served, concerted efforts are needed. These efforts ought to come from both state and non-state actors.
While a country like America has pledged to cut Carbon emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030, it remains a collective responsibility for each individual human being to cut on their individual Carbon footprints. Experts in the World Health Organisation approximate that a single human being is capable of reducing up to two tonnes of Carbon per year with the average human presently producing four tonnes per year. Going digital, using renewable energy and practicing energy efficiency, minimizing on water use, eating fewer animal products, smart travel and and adopting a circular economy in use of plastics have been identified as some of the ways in which human beings can condense their Carbon footprint.
Businesses as well have a key role to play. Sustainability expert Dr. Edward Mungai says that by adopting climate-smart innovations in their core operations, they are not only contributing to the sustainability of their enterprises but also building on global resilience. Notwithstanding the kind of venture that a trader engages in, there is always room for incorporating technologies around climate change adaptation or mitigation.
The government and private institutions have a key role to play if 2020-2030 will be decisive decade for tackling climate change as per Joe Biden’s assertion. With companies like Kenya Climate Ventures providing tailored funding and technical support to entrepreneurs who are keen on embedding climate change into the DNA of their work, businesses are now more likely to be the pacesetters of making the planet a better place to live in. State actors will then come in with policies to further promote the battle against climate change and to instigate climate action. It is therefore time for everyone to acknowledge climate change as an imminent crisis that can be solved from an individual level to the corporate level without regard to what each person practices.
A redacted version of this article was first published in The Standard on 29th May, 2020 by Solomon Irungu