It was a year ago in August 2018 when the world first heard about Greta Thunberg, Even without new government policies to dictate action on climate change, the corporations now after 16 years old teenager from Sweden, when she started a solo protest about climate change. She was striking from school to protest in front of the Swedish parliament to raise awareness for the severity of climate change. In the following year, she had managed to attract thousands of students from all over the world and the media’s attention, and she has since been traveling around to spread her message. Last week she was one of the speakers at the UN climate summit, berating the leaders of the world and energy companies for curbing greenhouse gas emissions and betraying the generation of hers. She even went further and with 15 other climate activists filed a lawsuit against Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Turkey, for being one of the world’s major carbon polluters and in return violating the rights of children.
The changes so far have already begun showing its effects. The findings of USUS and Canadian researchers shows that more than 1 in 4 birds in North America has vanished since 1970. NASA reports that the predictions of the scientists about the possible effects of the changes are indeed occurring: we’re experiencing more prolonged and more intense heatwaves, icebergs are melting, and the sea level rise has accelerated. They now have high confidence that greenhouse gases produced by human activities will continue to increase global temperatures for decades to come. According to the IPCC, increases in global mean temperature of less than 1°C to 3°C above 1990 levels will benefit some regions but will bring harm to the majority of the earth, which means net damage costs of climate change will continue to rise and likely to be significant. If the temperature continues to increase by another half a degree, we will face extreme weather conditions, such as heatwaves, storms, and droughts. There will be a decrease in food production, an increase in health problems, and the many species will lose their habitat.
Last week in UNUN climate summit, a large number of companies made commitments to curb climate change. They moved ahead with vows to address concerns as more than 20 corporations agreed to attain 100% of their electricity from renewable sources. AT&T will obtain more than double of its power from renewable energy, Target, Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, the Japanese department store Takashimaya, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group and world-leading solar panel maker JinkoSolar from China were among those who have agreed to rely solely on renewable energy to meet their needs, as reported in The Washington Post. We, as consumers, can have an impact around us, by just paying a little bit more attention to around us. Thunberg’s opera singer mother Malena gave up from her international career to contribute less to fossil fuel consumption, more and more people are adopting a vegetarian diet, with the internet we have access to alternative markets. We don’t have to take the steps that Greta has decided to be a part of the change.