Updated: Sep 1
Throughout the climate change and global warming history fingers have been pointing in all directions as to who is to blame for the state of matters (or who should be doing more). Is it the United States? Or maybe China? Or maybe both of the countries as the biggest CO2 emitters? Some say it’s the big business and other fingers point to specifically big oil. Is it the government that should be responsible for enabling the fossil fuels industry? In that case, would it be the American government or is it overall, governments? Or maybe the fault lies within the citizens of developed countries, over-consuming, over-spending, and over-wasting? There’s no one simple answer. Nothing can be looked at in isolation, not a single nature system, nor this case. I’m sure each of us has our own answer and opinion about who’s responsible and who should be doing more. There’s also a lot of data and research supporting one argument or the other. I used to play the blame game, however, I soon realized that nothing is black and white, and despite some players may have rigged the game here and there, we’re all just flawed humans who are trying to do their best.
Singapore is planning to phase out coal by 2050
Success in Australia resulted in 29 species recovered enough, they can be removed from the country’s endangered species list
Solar will make up more than half of new US grid power in 2023
Brazil’s President Lula’s commitment to end Amazon’s deforestation by 2030
1.5 million fruit trees planted in India, restoring 1,553 hectares of deforested area and helping lift local households out of poverty
These are just a few examples of what's going on and one could draw the conclusion that action abounds. Is it enough? Is it adequate to the scale of the matters? That's something, I believe, each of us has to answer for ourselves. It brings me to wonder whether there’s even a point in pointing the proverbial finger anywhere. Who's to blame? Who's responsible? What’s your take on this? I’ve invited Swetha and Kenny to explore this question from one angle, so keep reading and see what they say.
Is it the sole responsibility of governments to protect the environment?
“I don’t think it is the sole responsibility of government to protect the environment. Literally each and every human in the world is dependent on the environment and each and every one of us have different professional and personal roles. Thus, it is crucial that everyone contributes to protecting it through their occupation and personal changes. Secondly, it is necessary for individuals to come together, as a company or as a social community, and find common ground to act together. Thirdly, these groups, companies, and communities should support each other and take collective action. Thus, everyone, including individuals, corporate companies, scientists, and teachers is held responsible to act in their own way.”
“The protection of the environment is the responsibility of everyone. It goes without saying that governments play a crucial role in creating and implementing environmental rules and policies to protect the environment, as well as working on an international scale to collaborate, but it cannot be expected that they are solely responsible for protecting the environment.
Governments have the authority and resources to develop and enforce laws and regulations that promote environmental conservation and implement initiatives to mitigate climate change. However, individuals, companies, and non-governmental entities all play a significant role in protecting the environment. There are over 8 billion people on this earth and each person taking individual action in their daily lives can have a greater impact than we can imagine. Businesses of course are also important in the process and should try to employ more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. There are many players such as advocacy groups and other non-governmental organizations that all play a role and can advocate for policies in support of environmental protection practices.
It is important to recognize that we all play a role and ultimately protecting the environment requires collective action among not just governments but also individuals, communities, businesses, and organizations. By working together, we can effectively tackle and address environmental challenges and work towards a more sustainable future that seeks to protect the space we all use.”
AROUND THE WORLD 🌏
FUNDING FOSSIL FUEL, FARMING & FISHING - WHO BENEFITS
According to a report by the World Bank, we spend trillions of dollars in subsidies for fossil fuels, farming, and fishing yet these are causing significant harm to the environment. The impact is severe and reaches people as well as the planet.
In total, the subsidies supporting environmental destruction could amount to $23m a minute. It was also mentioned that the bulk of the subsidies were “regressive, benefiting the rich more than the poor and that direct aid to the poorest would be far more efficient”. Many countries spend more on these harmful subsidies than on health, education, or poverty reduction. Why not educate people in trying to create a different path? The subsidies are profoundly entrenched and challenging to reform due to the influential beneficiaries being wealthy and powerful. The World Bank argues that redirecting these subsidies would provide essential funding to address the climate and natural crises, particularly when public funds are strained.
IT'S ALSO ABOUT FOOD
A study led by scientists from the Universities of Groningen and Birmingham, reveals that reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the global food system is a key factor in helping to mitigate climate change. The study shows that the food system currently makes up one-third of man-made GHG emissions, so this area is worthy of attention. It’s noteworthy that beef and dairy consumption shows the largest emission increase in rapidly developing countries like China and India.
“The growth of the global population and rising demand for emission-intensive food are likely to boost emissions further” Therefore, action is required. Protecting the planet against the impact of climate change will fall short unless we reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the global food system.
WHAT WE'RE READING
New carbon accounting rules vs greenwashing Read here
Sounds of the soil: A new tool for conservation? Read here
The cattle breeders-turned-conservationists protecting Colombia's Amazon wildlife Read here
EU - sound climate principles or political quicksand? Read here
Big oil ads and misinformation? Read here
Carbon trading in Brazil Read here
There you have it, dear friends!
Till next time!