Get involved Vol 21, No. 11 - November 2017

When it comes to climate action, small can be big

Nearly 50 years ago, Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon with the famous quote: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Armstrong’s single pace made history and to this day it symbolizes the overcoming of a generational challenge. For our generation, that challenge is climate change, but this time everyone can make their small step right here on Earth.

The warming of our climate, which is causing extreme weather events, sea-level rise and bleaching of coral reefs, is severely affecting our lives and prosperity. That is why the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes Goal 13 – to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. The Goal calls for tackling climate change by transforming our energy, food, agriculture and forestry systems to ensure the increase of global temperature is stemmed.

In 2015, the world took an important step by adopting the Paris Agreement in 2015. Close to 200 countries came together and committed to address climate change. This year, the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) will take place on 6-17 November in Bonn, Germany, under the presidency of Fiji, to advance the aims, ambitions and implementation of the Paris Agreement.

However, the governments alone cannot effectively fight climate change, if we all do not do our part. Here are some quick tips on how you can join the fight against climate change by making small steps of your own:

* Take public transportation instead of driving
* Purchase minimally packaged goods, and non-reusable containers
* Access e-service – get your bank statement, bills, etc. online
* Use a power strip and unplug it when not in use
* Share this article in social media with your family and friends and convince them to take action
* More tips can be found on the website of the Sustainable Development Goals.

All these small actions may seem insignificant, when we consider the billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases that humanity is pumping into the atmosphere. Yet, all these billions of tonnes are created by the billions of people living unsustainably. If we all change even the tiniest things, we can make a huge difference.

One small action for an individual, one giant leap for the environment. For climate change, small can be big.

For more information:

SDG Goal 13 on climate change

UN Climate Conference – COP 23

Lazy person’s guide to saving the world

Download the SDGs in Action app

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