You may have noticed that for the last month we’ve had some sneaky posts and stories popping up across instagram and facebook covering issues around climate change. In the lead up to COP26 in Glasgow and the United Nations Climate Change conference, we thought it was a fitting time to talk about sustainability, ethics, and how we can all work towards an equitable and climate neutral future.
So, what is COP26?
COP26 stands for Conference of the Parties, established by the UN almost 3 decades ago as a space for nations to work together to tackle climate change. This year’s summit is known as COP26 as it is the 26th gathering, and the second since establishing the Paris Agreement in 2015. The summit will bring together the world’s leaders to work towards reaching the goals set out by the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change including updated plans and strategies for reaching net zero.
What are the goals of COP26?...
- Secure global net zero by 2050 and keep 1.5 degrees within reach - The largest emitters are, and have been, developed countries. As part of the Paris Agreement, these countries are obligated to communicate or update their emissions reductions targets and take action.
- Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats - Countries are expected to ‘produce an ‘Adaptation Communication’, which is a summary of what they are doing and planning to do to adapt to the impacts of the changing climate, challenges they face and where they need help.’ (COP26 Explained).
- Mobilise finance - Developing countries need support to achieve net zero, this means developed nations are obligated to meet their promise of raising $100 billion every year to support developing countries.
- Work together to deliver - Ultimately, countries need to finalise the Paris Rulebook which will outline how the agreement should be implemented to avoid a catastrophic climate crisis and empower industry and governments to mobilise.
What is Australia's commitment to Climate Action?
The Australian Federal government outlined its plan to curb carbon emissions at the COP26 with a focus on technological breakthroughs and greater investment in clean solutions for industry. Unfortunately, our refusal to commit to net-zero by 2030 or methane reductions has put the nation in the spotlight – and not in a good way. The plan outlined by the Coalition is underpinned by an updated "technology roadmap" that negates the need for taxes, promises a 1.6% increase in our national gross income, and avoids any concrete legislation on climate action.
Our Favourite Climate Warriors
While our governments negotiate terms of the Paris Agreement and their obligations to carbon neutratlity, there are organisations already working towards a net zero future, advocating for communities, and tackling policy head on. For the month of October, we featured four inspiring organisations doing all of the above.Week 1: Project Planet
Project Planet aims to build a non-judgemental and inclusive space that provides an optimistic and exciting view of what's possible, without sugar-coating some of the challenges we are currently facing. They aim to raise awareness not only about the costs of inaction on climate change, but also the enormous economic, developmental and cultural opportunities that exist, if we actively pursue an ambitious plan to transform Australia into a global climate leader.
Week 2: Seed Mob
Seed Mob is Australia’s first and only youth-led Indigenous climate network building a movement led by and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to protect country, culture and communities from the causes and impacts of climate change.
Their vision is for a just and sustainable future with strong cultures and communities, powered by renewable energy. Understanding the growing threat of climate change to humanity, Seed Mob are using this moment as an opportunity to create a more just and sustainable world through impactful campaigns and outreach.
You can show your support for Seed Mob by donating some of your hard earned cash here.
Week 3: One Tree Planted
One Tree Planted is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit on a mission to make it simple for anyone to help the environment by planting trees. Their projects span the globe and are done in partnership with local communities and knowledgeable experts to create an impact for nature, people, and wildlife. Reforestation helps to rebuild forests after fires and floods, provide jobs for social impact, and restore biodiversity. Many projects have overlapping objectives, creating a combination of benefits that contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
If you want to get your hands dirty you can also take part in one of their worldwide bi-annual community tree planting events or if you're particularly passionate about the environment you can also become a Tree Ambassador! Planting trees is the best nature-based solution to help mitigate climate change. It is also a simple action for almost anyone to take. For just $1 USD One Tree Planted can plant a tree for forest restoration.
Week 4: Farmers for Climate Action
Farmers for Climate Action grew out of a meeting of frustrated farmers in the Blue Mountains in 2015. They had spent decades voicing their concerns about climate change to no avail. They resolved to get to work and in 2016 set themselves up as a formal group.
Today they represent more than 6000 farmers across Australia, and over 30,000 Australians committed to climate action for agriculture and ensuring farmers are a key part of the solution to climate change.
We are absolutely chuffed with the support we’ve seen from our Sük community over this last month. With your help we’ve managed to raise $19,738.00 for these four climate focussed charities:
- Seed Mob
- One Tree Planted
- Farmers for Climate Action
- Climate 200 – A not-for-profit organisation raising money to support climate focussed independent candidates at the next federal election.
The future can sometimes seem pretty bleak, but with every small action you take, you can make a difference to our climate – make a donation, compost your food scraps, swap your car for a bike, switch energy providers, or choose ethical brands (like ours). Every little bit counts.
Likewise, we’d love to hear all the ways you choose to reduce your impact on the environment. There’s always something new to learn, and we’d love to share your hacks with the rest of the community.
If you want to learn more about our commitment to net zero, check out our last blog here.
Resources + Links:
- BBC Podcast
- COP26 Website
- The Guardian Australia: "Australia commits to 2050 net zero emissions plan but with no detail and no modelling", 26/10/2021.