I wanted to write an article on a topic that has been in my mind for some time. Sometimes, when one talks about climate change, he or she hears an answer similar to this one : “I am not doing anything before those ones act, because they are polluting the most“. We will see in this article why this argument is utterly wrong.
“Those” can be replaced, depending from the person who said this kind of sentence, by the American, the Chinese, the industries and many others.
To me this reasoning is utterly false. If everybody as to wait for an action from the other, the actions to mitigate climate change could indeed be delayed to 2050 or even after. As it has been seen during history, there always are concerns regarding the first move.
Luckily, this first move as been done this year by the European Union. The EU indeed committed itself to decrease by 2020 by at least 20 percent from the 1990 levels the local greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. This group of countries could even go to 30 percent if other countries follow their lead.
There are several partakers in the fight against climate change. We can hence see that there are the governments (local, national or international), the companies and the people.
We as the people have a huge impact on GHG emissions. It is estimated in France that half of this pollution is due to people direct consumption habits. This means that you reading this article, or me writing it, everybody, can act to mitigate climate change.
For people, the action can be done daily by choosing a cleaner way to travel, to consume, etcetera. One can also do some lobbying to the local or national government and ask to go toward cleaner action and ways. This reasoning can be brought to companies and so on. Talking with friends, relatives, co-workers and so on is also an important mode of action.
To get back on the global scale, pollution knows no boundaries. So, local action can have global effects. Thus as local decrease of pollution will see widespread effects and local increased pollution can affect other countries and population.
It has been seen that the pollution of some areas had repercussions hundred of miles / kilometres away. The Amazon rainforest hence sees its biodiversity altered by global pollution and so on.
To conclude, I would like to state that the EU as it is the first to move, will gain competitive advantages for the next economic development phase that is due to start when there will be worldwide awareness of climate change. However, if it remained the only one to move, it would suffer from lack of economic competitiveness.