Can Individuals Make a Difference in Combating Climate Change?

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Why it’s also important for individuals to take action against climate change and how you can do it.

Why should individuals need to drive the change in our fight against climate change? Corporations and governments are the main culprits when talking about who produces the largest amount of CO2 emissions. It makes sense to make them responsible for taking the initiative in our fight against climate change.

While this might sound like a plausible and compelling argument, there are many reasons why it is misguided. It is true that bp coined the term of personal carbon footprints in 2004 to distract from their own emissions. It is also true that companies need to change – but not only them.

Systematic change, the kind of change needed to overcome our climate crisis, requires everyone to do their part – that means us individuals as well. 

The power of individual choices lies in the snowball effect that is created when everyone participates. You as a consumer can decide what is sold in supermarkets by taking choices on what you buy. You as an advocate can convince your friends and family to take the train over the plane. And you as an individual can change your habits to make more sustainable decisions. Astonishingly, over 70% of global emissions involve household consumption choices. This shows the power we individuals hold in our fight against climate change.

But what can we really do to contribute to the fight against climate change? 

The United Nations’ guide to climate neutrality describes individuals as different actors within an ecosystem. Individuals slip into different roles everyday, be it as residents, citizens, commuters, professionals, parents or consumers. In each of these roles, we can make choices that contribute to the fight against climate change.

In our “Every Action Matters” knowledge series, we will shed light on each of these roles and how you can make an impact in them. Because all of us have a part to play – each in a different but equally important way. And it can all start here, by informing yourself; about what makes an impact and about how to take action to make a change.

Read the “Every Action Matters” knowledge series to learn more about each role and how you can make a difference.

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