Global Goals

Climate Action In Chicago

By January 12, 2022 No Comments

Concerned about climate change?

So are we.

Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

“Climate change is real and human activities, largely the release of polluting gases from burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas,) is the main cause.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a panel set up by the United Nations Environment Programme and World Meteorological Association, stated the above conclusion in their first official report in 2013.

In December 2015, the historic Paris Agreement was adopted, binding member nations to the international treaty.  Some critical provisions include:

  • Substantially reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to limit the global temperature increase in this century to 2 degrees Celsius while pursuing efforts to limit the increase even further to 1.5 degrees
  • Review countries’ commitments every five years
  • Provide financing to developing countries to mitigate climate change, strengthen resilience and enhance abilities to adapt to climate impacts

This past November, members convened for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly known as COP26, and adopted the Glasgow Climate Pact.  A continuation of the Paris Agreement, some key outcomes of the pact include:

  • Members reaffirming their duty to fulfill the pledge of providing 100 billion dollars annually from developed to developing countries
  • Collectively work to reduce the gap between existing emission reduction plans and what is required to reduce emissions, so that the rise in the global average temperature can be limited to 1.5 degrees.
  • Member nations are called upon to phase down unabated coal power and inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels

While progress has been made in the fight against climate change, there is more work to be done. According to UN Secretary General António Gutteres, COP26 is “an important step but it is not enough.  We must accelerate climate action to keep alive the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.”

 

How can we take climate action and save the world from right here in Chicago?

 

HOW TO ACT

The Vote

To make systemic change and take meaningful climate action, local, national, and international governments all need to cooperate.  From ending federal fossil fuel subsidies to enacting local clean energy legislation, civic engagement and government action is crucial. Check out the links below to find your representative and learn more about Illinois’ most recent climate legislation: SB 2408, the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act.

https://www.illinois.gov/news/press-release.23893.html

https://www.commoncause.org/find-your-representative/

Your Wallet

It’s important to acknowledge the need for collective action while also recognizing the power of the individual. Although climate action is needed at all levels, individuals can take steps to help the environment on a daily basis.  Purchasing from businesses that are committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals can help further climate action.  In a recent survey, The World Economic Forum stated that only 38% of the 8,550 MSCI All Country World Index companies measured aligned with these goals. In 2020, Medium published seven top companies who are committed to the Global Goals.  It’s worth nothing that shopping locally is a key element to sustainable living. See below for Illinois businesses who are committed to environmentally friendly practices.

http://www.illinoisgba.org/GetGreen/WhosCertified.aspx

Advocacy

Continued awareness of the ongoing climate crisis and calling for immediate action is paramount.  Through wasting less, consuming ethically, and urging for climate action, Chicagoans can make a difference and help achieve our Global Goals. 

https://www.globalgoals.org/13-climate-action

https://www.un.org/en/climatechange

https://unfccc.int

https://www.unep.org/explore-topics/climate-action

 

Charles Kay

Author Charles Kay

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