Climate Change

One of the major concerns adults have when considering the question “What are we doing to our children?” is the effect of climate change.

In a report entitled “Net Zero: The UK’s contribution to stopping global warming” issued in May 2019 by the Committee on Climate Change there are some very useful suggestions for the actions that people can take to reduce their carbon footprints, and contribute to the UK and global goal of reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Although, by now, many of these suggestions have become familiar to us (and, maybe, being observed), there may be others that we have not thought about, so I quote from the Report:

The way you travel:

Choose to walk and cycle or take public transport in preference to a car.

Make your next car an electric one, and then charge it 'smartly'.

Minimise flying, especially long-haul, where possible.

In your home:

Improve the energy efficiency of your home (or ask your landlord to) through draught-proofing, improved insulation, choosing LED light-bulbs and appliances with high efficiency ratings.

Set thermostats no higher than 19°C and the water temperature in heating systems no higher than 55°C.

Consider switching to a low-carbon heating system such as a heat pump, especially if you live off the gas grid; if you are on the gas grid consider a hybrid system.

What you eat and buy:

Eat a healthy diet, for example with less beef, lamb and dairy.

Eliminate food waste as far as possible and make sure that you use separate food waste collections if available. Reduce, reuse and recycle your other waste too.

Use only peat-free compost.
Choose good quality products that will last, use them for longer and try to repair before you replace.

Share rather than buy items like power tools that you don't use frequently. If you don't/won't use your car regularly then consider joining a car club instead.

Look for changes that you can make in your workplace or school to reduce emissions and support your colleagues to make changes too.

Talk about your experiences and help to raise awareness of the need to act. Consider the wider impacts of your actions (e.g. through your pension or ISA and via the companies you buy from).

I think these last two points are extremely important and are very much in line with what OORFC sets out to do.

Another quote describes challenges beyond individual efforts:

Industry must be largely decarbonised, heavy goods vehicles must also switch to low-carbon fuel sources, emissions from international aviation and shipping cannot be ignored, and a fifth of our agricultural land must shift to alternative uses that support emissions reduction: afforestation, biomass production and peatland restoration.

Where there are remaining emissions these must be fully offset by removing CO₂ from the atmosphere and permanently sequestering it, for example by using sustainable bioenergy in combination with carbon capture and storage.

Life will be different; and life must thrive - not merely survive.