As the ENGINE Climate Action Group moves forward, gathering momentum with our climate action plans, one of our goals is to deepen our understanding around the complexities of the Climate Crisis in which we (the world!) have catastrophically found ourselves. By doing so, it’s our hope that we will be able to contribute to the global efforts by at very least helping to build awareness, engagement, and momentum around this critical issue within our own industry.
There’s a lot to absorb, in fact, the overwhelming nature of this subject has probably not helped with consistency of engagement. So please, resist tuning out, because if you can commit to learning even one new thing each day, before you know it, you will find it pretty much impossible to turn away.
Greenhouse gas emissions are causing the earth’s atmosphere temperature to rise at an unsustainable rate by trapping energy from the sun. The most common greenhouse gases are water vapour, carbon dioxide and methane. Carbon dioxide is the most dangerous and abundant of these greenhouse gases, and this is why cutting carbon emissions, carbon footprints or seeking low-carbon alternatives are strongly encouraged as ways to address climate change. If not addressed, the majority of our world will be uninhabitable by 2100. A stark and frightening fact.
It is widely agreed that we need to limit global heating to 1.5˚C by 2040 – beyond that point we reach a daunting “tipping point” of no return. This means drastic increases in heatwaves, droughts, fires and flooding as well as a devastating impact on biodiversity and our ecosystem. In addition, climate-related health issues will soar, with impacts already escalating far faster than anticipated.
So, how can we protect against this? At the very least, we need to halve carbon emissions by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050. Net zero being the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. We reach net zero when the amount we add is no more than the amount taken away.
The urgency of the Climate Crisis has brought this timeline forward for many. A third of the UK’s biggest companies have already committed to net zero with the majority having committed to as early as 2025, and 2030 at the latest. Indeed, one of our own clients, Tribe Impact Capital has gone one step further with its own “track and trace” carbon programme and a unique initiative to position the business as a quasi-carbon sink.
And what can you, as an individual, do? Maybe download Giki Zero – a ‘fun’ footprint calculator which will help you build your own personal path to zero carbon emissions. Or why don’t you pop along to Our Future Planet at The Science Museum to find out more about why this is such an important issue.
World Environment Day serves as a perfect opportunity for us to take stock of the world around us and consider how we can all change one thing to better protect it. The science is clear, that if we don’t take action now, it will soon be too late. Our future is in your hands.