Were you brimming with excitement to see 2020 coming to an end?
No doubt, it has been an intense year for us all. We were awaiting a new beginning. We had hopes and dreams that everything will be better in 2021.
However, something will more than likely deteriorate if everything continues just like it is now.
Climate change is a topic that should concern us all, no matter our age. And even more, it should be a topic we take action upon at this very moment. Wonder why? Read this:
Earth’s population rises every day
Climate action cannot wait because our population is on the rise. Every day, we have a population growth of over 200,000. By the end of the year, we have 80 million more people on Earth.
More people demand more resources, like water and energy, and they consume more food. As a result, agriculture is expanding, and more land is being used.
Some will argue that we are condemning population growth too quickly. Improved policies and sustainability could stabilize the crisis, making enough room for more babies. However, we cannot be sure of what the future will bring.
More than ever, this year has shown us how we are not changing at the same pace as our climate is.
It takes years to see change
COVID-19 lockdowns have proven that even if the world stands still for months, the change is still ongoing, and it takes several years for it to recover. How can one be sure? Mainly because 2020 is joining the club as one of the hottest years on record, alongside 2016 and 2019.
The lockdowns helped us drive emissions down, but it is not enough. Emissions need to go down every year if we want to fight climate change. It is a cumulative issue and won’t go away so fast.
In other words, we would need a longer lockdown every year if we want to see a change in the atmosphere.
Catastrophes are borderless
2020 has seen a lot of natural disasters all over the world. At the beginning of the year, we had the Australian wildfires. Towards the end of the year, we were surprised by flooding in the Philippines. And let’s not forget the photos of orange skies in San Francisco flooding our social media.
These disasters are getting more and more frequent. The World Health Organization indicates that weather-related natural disasters have tripled since 1960, becoming a threat to all living beings.
Unfortunately, we have no power to control the weather. This results in around 60.000 deaths per year. Disasters happened in various regions. It doesn’t matter if the country or territory you live in produces a lot of CO2. It won’t matter.
The impact can be felt everywhere, even in a country like Bhutan that tries its best to stay carbon negative.
Health is at risk
Carbon emissions are malicious to our health in general. We are horrified by the deaths caused by COVID-19. However, how much do you know about the deaths caused by climate change?
Your health is at risk due to rising heat, which can result in heat stress.
When floods happen in tropical weather, it gives birth to the optimal environment for disease-carrying insects. It affects some regions more than others now, but with rising temperatures, mosquitoes that transmit malaria could be found in more areas of the world, and that is just one example.
It takes away our food
Climate change won’t just affect our health with diseases and natural disasters. It will also impact us by taking away our food.
By losing land – erosions, desertification, and flooding-are ways that the food supply is being damaged. Reducing the amount of available land ultimately means impacting food production.
However, losing ground won’t happen just with the points mentioned above. Taking away land for palm oil or biogas production contributes to the issue as well.
With changing temperatures, the soil changes, too, making it harder for rice or coffee to be grown.
Wrapping it up
Climate action cannot wait because the consequences of our greed are happening right now. And its effects will last for way longer, not caring about the geography.
Therefore, it is an issue that is the responsibility of each one of us to solve.
More than ever, youth is demanding companies and organizations to be more purpose-driven to take care of the environment more.
Being a youth-run organization, AIESEC sees sustainability as a priority. We create and deliver several environmental projects where international volunteers can develop their leadership while making a difference in the world.
With 2020 being one of the hottest years on record, it is more important than ever to take action against climate change.
It will take a tremendous effort to fight it. Involving everyone from the private sector, government, and individuals to make it happen.