IPCC announced ‘Code red for humanity’. We are getting closer to 2030, a pivotal date to reverse damage caused to the planet. November saw the gathering of countries across the globe in Glasgow, working to agree and act against the pressing eco and climate matters the world is facing. Global warming is a matter of fact, threatening our health, economy and natural resources. We need to take action.
This blog will outline some of the critical environmental and eco challenges we face and what we can – and are – doing to help.
What Issues Are We Facing?
Environmental issues refer to problems with the planet’s systems (air, water, soil) as a result of human activity. Global warming is one of the most pressing issues, and we are on the brink of an environmental crisis. Global warming is the result of greenhouse gas emissions that cause the Earth’s temperature to rise. Rising temperatures cause natural disasters, including flooding and melting ice caps, rising sea levels and unnatural precipitation patterns (e.g. excessive snow, hurricanes). Due to CO2 emissions, global warming has increased by almost 50% since 1990.
Pollution of air, water, soil, radioactive, light and thermal nature are all interlinked. A key cause of pollution is vehicle exhaust fumes, heavy metals, plastics and toxins. The World Health Organisation estimates that 90% of humanity breathes polluted air, leading to respiratory illness, resulting in 7 million deaths each year.
Overpopulation is when there are too many people on the planet, leading to a shortage of water, fuel, and food. A crucial issue is the depletion of natural resources. It was concluded we would need almost 1.5 earths to cover our needs to satisfy our needs. The United Nations estimate that the world population will exceed 8.5 billion by 2030.
Hyperconsumption is the consumption of goods for non-functional purposes and associated pressure to consume those goods. The average person produces 4.3 pounds of waste per day that is non-biodegradable, e.g. plastics, toxic e-waste, chemicals. With a rising population and increasing wastage, there is a struggle to cope with this issue.
Loss of Biodiversity
Human interference is leading to the extinction of many species and habitats. It took millions of years to reach the diverse ecosystems the world hosts, and humans are set to destroy their existence in a fraction of that time. It is estimated that 22% of animals species are at risk of extinction.
For example, pollination is crucial for the survival of ecosystems. Flowers depend on bees for pollination. Bees are in decline on a global scale, yet no human action is being taken.
Coral reefs are the primary support for the oceans, facing the threat of being bleached and lost. Coral bleaching is when the water is too warm and the coral expels the algae living in them, meaning the coral turns white. On a positive note, corals can survive coral bleaching, but they are under more stress and subject to mortality.
The ozone layer protects us from the sun’s harmful rays. Rising temperatures deplete this layer, especially prominent above the Antarctic, where our ice caps are. This will cause the ice caps to melt further, resulting in rising sea levels and issues, such as flooding and loss of land.
Overfishing presents a threat as it leads to the imbalance of ocean life. 63% of global fish stocks are estimated to be overfished. Disrupting the supply of food in the oceans and overfishing has drastic implications for marine life.
Trees and forests are the natural absorbers of carbon dioxide, a key greenhouse gas. Trees turn carbon dioxide into oxygen, which we humans require to live. Not only do trees allow us to breathe, but they help regulate the temperature by absorbing carbon dioxide. Forests cover 30% of the Earth’s land, and every year trees are lost.
Threat to Human Life
All these issues present a threat to human life and our co-inhabitants. Climate change is the biggest issue we will face over the next decade. However, this is not the only issue. The United Nations agenda for sustainable development presented an agenda to limit global warming to under 1.5 degrees celsius. We are running late on this, and the time to save the planet is now.
What Can We Do?
Eco solutions can help us restore the planet, such as eco products and services. The transition to renewable and sustainable electricity can help. We are already seeing increased adoption of electric vehicles. The need to implement cleaner, more accessible and efficient business models are clear, and corporates are taking note. Building more sustainable communities is essential, and striving for a more sustainable food model (e.g. plant-based alternatives) will assist us in saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions.
Consider the amount of waste we could reduce through prevention, reduction, reuse, and recycling to help fight overpopulation.
More recently, nations from across the globe met to discuss the issues climate change imposes on humanity. Wealthier nations failed to deliver on their $100 billion annual climate funding promised to vulnerable countries in previous years. However, let’s look at some key outcomes to help counter the threat of climate change:
- Limiting rising to 1.5 degrees is now ambitious.
- Accelerating the phase-down of unabated coal and inefficient subsidiaries.
- Boosting up the agenda and conversation about how to pay for loss and damage that climate change inflicts on developing countries
- Agreeing rules on carbon offset markets, which the last two COPs failed to finalise
Each Person & Climate Change
Here at Each Person, we are trying to make a difference. We help the planet but also businesses. Our employee reward scheme allows employees to donate some of their Epoints to plant a tree for just £1. On top of that, 5% of our profits go towards funding eco-projects through our partnership with Carbon Footprint. So every purchase you make with us helps us fight climate change.
We can’t solve every problem in one go, but if businesses tackle issue by issue, this can only have positive implications for the world. By tackling the climate change crisis head-on and planting trees for employees signed up to our reward and recognition program, we are directly trying to counter the threat of deforestation and build back our planet.
To find out more about how Each Person can keep you up to date with the latest eco-updates, visit eachperson.com or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you enjoyed this article, follow our social media to stay updated with our latest blogs and news.