From the flash flooding in Germany to the forest fires in Turkey and Greece, Europe has experienced some extreme weather patterns. The events which occurred over the last month have already claimed hundreds of lives and are undeniably a product of climate change.
This week, the UN published a new IPCC report which has been described by the organisation as ‘a code red for humanity’. The new report acts as a desperate plea to world leaders to take climate action following unprecedented global temperatures rises and increasingly extreme weather conditions across the world, as a consequence of human activity. The UN’s message reiterates that if the world acts fast in drastically decreasing greenhouse emissions, then rising temperatures could be stabilised.
What exactly is happening?
Even though the UN’s climate warnings are by no means new, the report published this week was the first major review of the science of climate change since 2013, published ahead of the COP26 Glasgow Climate Change summit this November.
The ongoing forest fires in Turkey and Greece demonstrate the extent of the climate crisis, where strong winds and extreme temperatures have correlated into devastating fires. Abnormal weather patterns have also occurred elsewhere in Europe, in Northern Germany, who have experienced disastrous floods last month.
What can we do to help?
The seriousness of the climate crisis is a direct impact of human activity, therefore together we must act responsibly to prevent further temperature rises. We thought we would put together a list of ideas, how you can make a difference in the midst of the ongoing climate crisis...
Support those in need
Following the devastating fires in Turkey and Greece, there are hundreds of people directly affected by the floods who need immediate help in desperate need for medical attention, shelter and food. We’ve listed a few charities, which would welcome any donations:
Turkish Philanthropy Funds: This charity uses your donations to provide food, water and shelter to both people and animals
Evia, Greece Go Fund Me: The Go Fund Me page set up to help the most affected in the Greek forest fires will distribute any donations to help families most in need.
Reduce your meat intake, or cut it out!
Another way to mitigate the effects of climate change is following a vegetarian or even vegan diet, as the average carnivore diet produces twice as much carbon dioxide as a vegetarian daily! Therefore, adopting a plant based diet is perhaps one of the easiest ways to reduce carbon emissions, as livestock contributes to 15% of global emissions whilst also using arable land which could be used to grow more trees!
Try to use public transport where possible
In the UK, transport accounts for over a third of emissions - therefore opting to travel to work on public transport or in a car share instead of your own car is another feasible lifestyle change you could make! Even though the UK government is banning all petrol and diesel cars by 2030, if you are thinking of buying a new car soon, why not upgrade to an electric car now? Also, avoiding unnecessary plane travel is another way to reduce your carbon footprint, with the aviation industry contributing to 2% of all carbon emissions.
Adopt an ethical mindset
From upcycling any unwanted clothes to avoiding single use plastic products are extremely easy and affordable ways to help reduce your carbon footprint!
Spread the Word and Speak to your representatives.
Whether it is sharing infographics on social media or joining a campaign group - use your voice! It has never been more important to talk about the seriousness of the climate crisis - with friends, family and your political representatives. If you can, try to join local organisations and show the government that people want change.
Support Sustainable Fashion Brands
In response to the new IPCC report, climate activist Greta Thunburg, condemned the fast fashion industry for its role in contributing to climate change. As the fast fashion industry accounts for around 8% of global carbon emissions, Thunberg called for fast fashion brands to reduce their environmental footprint and end the use of greenwashing campaigns.
As consumers, we have a responsibility to boycott Fast Fashion to support Sustainable Fashion brands, who manufacture garments as ethically and environmentally friendly as possible!