The 1.5 °C goal

On an individual level, to manage the 1.5 °C goal, the global average of greenhouse gas emissions needs to come down to 2.5 tonnes by 2030 and 0.7 tonnes by 2050 (these levels can be raised slightly if new technologies which will be able remove emissions are considered). For 2023, our goal is 3.5 tonnes/per person – public consumption is excluded in these numbers, they only represent what we as individuals directly can affect in our daily lives.

Lifestyle changes

This might seem like an impossible challenge, but remember that the global average is a footprint of 3.4 tonnes CO2e – so it is a feasible goal if we embrace making some necessary changes to our lifestyle and stop seeing the planet as a never ending resource for us to use.

On average our emissions need to decrease by at least 7% every year. However, the amount of emissions per individual varies depending on several factors – from socio-economical to geographical ones. For some, thinking about reducing emissions is not feasible. It is primarily the Global North having a greater historical responsibility and as we are facing a global challenge we need all hands on deck. For those of us who have the privilege of growing up in wealthy countries and safe communities, we might want to consider doing more – to allow for those who cannot act immediately some time to catch up and reach the same level of comfort and security as we might already benefit from. Read more about Climate justice here.

Why is it crucial to keep the global temperature increase below 1.5°C?

We have already reached a global warming of +1.2°C which means we don’t have much time left before we get to +1.5°C. Pledges have been made but not yet implemented. If put in use, they will at best keep temperatures to a +2.6°C rise – which is likely to still be devastating to the planet.

As well as being crucial for people and ecosystems that we stay below +1.5C global warming, it is also key in order to create a more sustainable and equitable society as a whole.

Yearly, 15-20 million people are forced to abandon their homes due to natural disasters caused by climate change. With every rise in temperature, the number of people forced to escape goes up – while keeping the 1.5°C goal would keep more people safe.

GoClimate has developed a carbon footprint calculator as a first step in understanding the true carbon footprint of an individual. Find out your personal carbon emission levels at go climate.com

 References: Aalto University, IGES, Ivanova 2015, Stockholm Resilience Centre. 

Why should we care about the new climate science report that has gone out?

A new report titled “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” from the IPCC was published this Monday, 28th Feb 2022. But why should we care about it? And what does it mean to us?

Let’s start by learning what the IPCC is

IPCC stands for Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It is an independent body of the UN that provides policymakers and the world with science around climate change and how it affects us. The panel reviews research of multiple scientists around the world assesses it, condenses it, and publishes it for people to understand where we are, what we are doing and what we need to do.

So, what does the report say? and why should I care?

The report hits closer and harder than other reports. It speaks about how people’s lives and the natural world can continue to be affected by a changing climate in different parts of the world and how we can respond to those impacts. It lets us know that we need to continue mobilizing, we need to work together, we need to cut emissions boldly and fast, and we need to adapt appropriately. One thing is left clear, we are experiencing climate change impacts today, the whole world will continue to feel them, and billions will feel them harder than others. And, how much and how fast we reduce emissions will determine how heavily we will be hit; “every small increase in warming will result in increased risks.” said the IPCC co-chair.[1]

The report tells us what lies ahead if we continue as we are. We will face significant human losses, economic disruptance, loss of biodiversity, and more. It invites us to create a climate-resilient development where we reduce climate risks, reduce greenhouse emissions, enhance biodiversity and achieve the sustainable development goals.

Is there anything for me to do?

As a business:

  • Learn about your climate impact.

Understand the number of emissions you are responsible for and which ones will be more effective to reduce. Later, plan how to reduce them, set a reduction target, and work to become NetZero.

  • Support projects that avoid the emission of greenhouse gases

Support others working to prevent emissions from going to the atmosphere through financial support. This will help reduce the amount of GHG in the atmosphere. You can also support projects that remove them from the atmosphere.

  • Engage your supply chain

Help create a snowball of action by inspiring your suppliers to reduce their emissions.

  • Engage with the local governments your offices are located in

Different local governments are taking action and need business allies to implement their ideas. Learn about what your local government is doing and engage with them

As an individual:

  • Learn how you can reduce your emissions

Read some of our climate tips and get inspiration

  • Learn about climate justice

Climate change will not affect everyone in the world equally. Instead, already socially vulnerable communities will be the ones more affected. So we should work for a better future for everyone, not just a few.

  • Vote sustainably and hold your politicians accountable

As the ‘managers’ of our society, governments have a big role to play. Whoever is in the driving seat can make a big difference in how fast and well we adapt and reduce emissions. Think about this when deciding who to vote for and hold them accountable when in office. read more

Remarks from the report

  • Climate change affects people unequally. It will significantly affect Central and South America, parts of Africa, South Asia, the Artic, and Small Islands.
  • There is a small window for us to act; we must not miss it.
  • There is a tipping point for ecosystems and social systems from which we will not return if we reach them. If reached, it is possible we won’t be able to adapt.
  • We should prioritize adaptation. Finance has to be prioritized for it.
  • Maladaptation is a thing. We have implemented measures that falsely reduce risks and that emit greenhouse gases.
  • Improving social infrastructures such as health systems is part of adapting to climate change
  • Nature is our friend (it has always been, but let’s really take it in). Nature is key to adaptation and an essential component for keeping emissions in the ground.

[1] IPCC Press Conference – Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation & Vulnerability – YouTube

AR6 Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability — IPCC

Climate Impact and Safe Drinking Water with Nazava Water Filters

Together with our amazing members, GoClimate have now offset another 9087 ton CO2eq in the Gold Standard certified project Nazava Water Filters.

According to the World Economic Forum, lack of access to safe drinking water is one of the biggest threats to humanity today. The Nazava project is a social enterprise that sells affordable ceramic water filters to low-income households in Indonesia (where the lack of clean water is a wide-spread problem) enabling access to safe drinking water. The project also leads to reduced CO2 emissions as well as a number of other benefits, both on a global and a local level.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this!

Difficulties for low-income households to get water

The positive impact safe drinking water has on public health is pretty obvious. It prevents disease and even death. The conventional methods for obtaining drinking water involve fetching, transporting and storing water and then boiling it to make it safe enough to drink. The fact that the water often needs to be transported a long way and to then be stored for a long period of time, means that the risk of it being contaminated is large, even if the water was clean at the point of fetching. Boiling is an energy intensive and time-consuming purification method, often involving burning wood or charcoal. In cases where fetching drinking water is not an option, low-income households are left to spend money on buying water, leading to an unsustainable financial situation.

The Nazava Water Filter project saves CO2 

The Nazava Water Filter project leads to a reduction in GHG emissions, as burning wood or fossil fuel for cleaning water is omitted. The project activity has the potential to give an annual average CO2 emission reduction of up to 372,774 t CO2e over a 10 year period. This yearly reduction in energy is comparable to one year’s CO2 emissions from 5 000 Swedish households.

The Filter

The technology used for this specific filter is a ceramic type that produces water of safe drinking water quality. The Nazava Water Filters remove 99.9% of bacteria as tested by WHO – a result honoring the name Nazava, which is arabic for “cleanliness”. The filters are easy to use and sold at an affordable price, making them accessible for the low-income households affected.  The filters can be used thousands of times before they need to be replaced, making this technique a highly sustainable one.

Other important benefits

The positive impact of access to safe drinking water and the great climate impact is probably pretty clear by now, but the Nazava project keeps on giving with it’s many other social and economic benefits!

Not having to carry water a long way reduces the risk of wear and tear. Not having to boil water reduces the indoor air pollution from burning wood, which is a health risk important to avoid.

The project also creates value for the local community in important ways. Buying and using the filters, low-income households saves the cost for buying wood or water, and as well as saves the labour spent on fetching and preparing the water. User surveys show that this is welcomed as a considerable advantage and the project has been well received. 

The selling and distribution is carried out by a network of informal resellers or micro-entrepreneurs, many of which are women, working under the brand name Nazava Water Filters. 

The Nazava project has a positive impact on many of the UN Sustainability Goals – numbers 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 13, and 15 (No poverty, Good Health and Wellbeing, Gender equality, Good Health and sanitation, Decent work and economic growth, Climate action and Life on land).

A survey on the view of the individual carbon footprint, climate action taken and GoClimate

During the summer 2021, we conducted a survey among all our members who offset their carbon footprint with GoClimate. 552 people participated, corresponding to 12% of our members at that point in time.

GoClimate members are truly active climate change fighters

25-30% of GoClimate members take climate action that goes far beyond their own lifestyle changes and climate funding contributions. In response to the question “In the last three years, have you done any of the following?”, this is the result:

30% of GoClimate members state that they have participated in climate protests, 71% have signed climate petitions, 27% have been in contact with politicians or their municipality with climate-related issues, 25% have asked their workplace or school about their climate work, 21% have contacted a store or a brand about their sustainability work and 77% has made a major lifestyle change like swapping to a more climate-friendly diet, stopped flying or switching fossil cars to electric ones or bicycles.

This is climate action taken by our members on top of their monthly contribution to important climate financing to move away from fossil based energy systems among others.

The view of one’s own climate footprint

In response to the question of how our members view their personal carbon footprint, 74% states that they are working actively to reduce their footprint. 8% say that they would like to, but don’t know how. Another 7% say that they already have a low footprint and have a hard time lowering it more. 8% say that they are not working actively with reducing their footprint. Several members state that it is difficult to change diet and travel habits completely.

The next focus of GoClimate

We gave eleven suggestions on what the GoClimate team could focus on in the future. The suggestions that got the most votes were a carbon budget tool for individuals (57%), that GoClimate increase the focus on influencing politicians and society through creating opinion, petitions and debate articles (55%), a feature that displays exactly which climate projects a member personally has supported and with how much (53%), individualized tips to help reduce a member’s footprint (48%) and the possibility to compare climate footprints from year to year (39%).

Growing the GoClimate community

The majority of the respondents found out about us via recommendations and social media. So please keep discussing the climate with friends, tell them about us and share blog posts and our infographics on Instagram.

Here you can find the results of the 2019 and 2020  member survey on carbon footprint, carbon offsetting and GoClimate.

Petitions

Supporting different causes by signing petitions can be a very powerful and easy way of creating change. We have collected active petitions in different areas of the world – browse our suggestions below and get ready to make a difference!

Europe
Bundesbank, don’t stand against climate action! (350.org)
Sign and demand the EU and EU governments withdraw from the ECT (EU) (TNI.org)
Stop big polluters from suing our governments (Wemove.eu)

Global
Raise your voice for Climate Justice – (Greenpeace International)
Support a #justrecovery (350.org)

Bring justice to the Amazon (Avaaz)

Support making Ecocide an international crime

Support the Fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty

Deutsche Bank: Drop EACOP!

Sweden

Fossilreklam, nej tack! (Greenpeace)

Våra Barns Klimat- bli ditt barns röst för klimatet!


Skydda Amazonas och säg nej till handelsavtalet med Brasilien! (Greenpeace)

Skydda svensk skog (Greenpeace)

Flygfritt 2022

Så kan du stoppa naturförstörelse från att hamna i din varukorg – och skydda vår natur – Greenpeace Sweden

UK
Say no to polluter payouts (Paid to pollute)

Tell Tesco: Stop forest destruction (Greenpeace)

UK Government: No more oil and gas (Greenpeace)

Save the wild coast! (Greenpeace)

US
Tell President Biden: Ban New Oil and Gas Permits on Public Lands and Waters – (Greenpeace)

Demand an end to human rights violations and the destruction of the Amazon rainforest (Greenpeace)

5 climate tips to reduce your carbon footprint

We give you five relatively simple tips on what you can do to reduce your climate footprint.

1. Can you choose green electricity?  Check if your provider has a green electricity plan for you! Either on their website or by calling them. This can reduce your emissions significantly! In the EU, your electricity provider is obliged to let you know the energy source (referred to as electricity disclosure).

2. Cut the meat in favour of a more plant-based diet. This can reduce your diet’s footprint by 50%. For more info read our “Meat eater’s non-dogmatic guide to becoming more vegetarian” and “How to reduce your carbon footprint from food”. Find vegan and vegetarian food inspiration at Sweet Green Vegan, Green Kitchen Stories, Plant-Based RD and A Vegan’s Paradise.

3. Skip the car – take the bike. In average an car in the US emits 5,4 tonnes a year while biking has no carbon footprint at all.

4. Take a free digital quick coursethe Climate Leader – to understand how you best take climate action.

5. Carbon offset your lifestyle with us and help accelerate the transition to renewable energy around the world.

How much do I need to reduce my climate footprint to contribute to the Paris Agreement and the important 1.5 degree goal?

According to the study 1.5 degree lifestyles (2018), globally, in the year 2030, we can emit maximally 2.5 tonnes CO2eq/person to have a chance of managing the decisive 1.5 degree target. In 2040, we will be able to emit maximally 1.4 tonnes CO2eq/person, and in 2050 – a maximum of only 0.7 tonnes CO2eq/person. Read more about this here.

Currently, the average American emits nearly 20 tonnes CO2eq per year.
Source: http://css.umich.edu/factsheets/us-environmental-footprint-factsheet

Climate tips to save the planet

Civil disobedience for the climate

Civil disobedience is something that is not very common in Sweden, and is associated with being rowdy and uncompromising. Many believe that we have a well-functioning society where it is the individual’s duty to follow the law and maintain order. Can that be true, while there are also reasons to not comply? If so, could the climate be such an issue? We at GoClimate believe that the climate crisis is so big that we need to explore all ways to act on it, and with this post we want to inform about one method already applied, both to create understanding of it and at the same time inspire one another to find new ways to get engaged that suits everyone.

Civil disobedience is defined as the citizen’s active refusal to comply with a law or an order from the government, in order to change society. It is a non-violent method to highlight that something in society is morally wrong, and therefore one does not agree to be involved in it. Resorting to civil disobedience as a method can be seen as a last resort, when the formal paths to drive change have not worked.

Peaceful demonstration against climate change

What can be important to bear in mind when considering whether civil disobedience is a good or bad method of social change, is that it is difficult to imagine a change before it has happened. What would the United States look like without slavery? How would England work if women were allowed to vote? Today, we generally agree that slavery is wrong and voting rights are a right regardless of gender, and using that reasoning we must also assume that in a hundred years’ time our grandchildren will be living in a society that has undergone even more changes. Moreover, the pace of change seems to be accelerating rather than slowing down, so it is reasonable to believe that we are not living in the most highly developed form of a human society yet.

What has civil disobedience actually accomplished historically? Perhaps the most well-known example is Mahatma Ghandi’s struggle for India’s independence from British colonial power, which included a long march in which he broke the salt law. Another person who today is praised for her courage is Rosa Parks, who refused to leave her seat on the bus in Montgomery to let a white passenger sit. Women’s suffrage is another example of what has been accomplished, however that struggle did involve violence. It can thus be individuals as well as groups and movements who perform civil disobedience, but neither Ghandi nor Parks acted alone.

More and more people gather to demonstrate for a societal change towards a sustainable planet

In 2018, Greta Thunberg sat down outside the Swedish Parliament to strike for the climate. She thus violated the Swedish Education Act, arguing “why should we study for a future that is being taken away from us?”. Greta is perhaps a special case in civil disobedience because she does not violate the law that she believes is the problem, but does so to raise another issue. We at GoClimate are convinced that Greta’s morality is right, and that we as a society must change to live in accordance with it. The fact that Greta is a child who is not going to school has undeniably been a thorn in the side for many around the world. The fact that she has become the front person of Fridays For Future, where millions of children around the world follow her example and strike from school, is both proof of the reach that civil disobedience can achieve and the seriousness that today’s children and young people feel about the climate issue.

Within the environmental movement, Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion are two organizations that use civil disobedience to call for attention and push environmental issues. Greenpeace’s actions often target large companies and directly block operators from engaging in environmentally harmful activities, while Extinction Rebellion’s actions have instead intended to cripple society and influence the masses by blocking bridges and roads. Both organizations are considered controversial, although many believe that their work highlights major problems that we have to handle.

How you choose to engage yourself in the climate issue is your own choice, and we at GoClimate hope that we can contribute to a transition to a sustainable society as quickly as possible. Committing civil disobedience is a method that has had a major impact historically on important issues, and it is already part of the environment and climate movement. Civil disobedience continues to be a relevant option because it is clear that systemic changes are not occurring at the pace necessary to secure a habitable planet in the not too distant future.

No matter what you do with your time and engagement, you can always combine that with compensating for your carbon footprint through us at GoClimate. This way, you can do as much good as possible for the climate!

Our team is growing and doing more good for the climate than ever before!

We have recently almost doubled the number of team members at GoClimate, with three new co-creators that allow us to proceed even faster and more efficiently towards our goal of creating a better tomorrow and a healthier planet.

Alexandra Palmquist is GoClimate’s climate advisor who came to us from the United Nations Development Programme in Bolivia, where she worked on climate and environmental projects. Previous positions include the European Commission in Belgium and the NGO We Effect, where Alexandra was stationed in Mozambique. Alexandra will work with measuring and reducing both individual and corporate climate impacts, and review of the climate projects we finance. Outside of work Alexandra recharges her energy by going running or dancing tango!

Tove Westling is the founder of the London-based PR agency VARG, which has worked with the establishment of brands such as Dagmar, DAY Birger et Mikkelsen, Filippa K, CDLP and Samsøe Samsøe on the British market. Tove has also been responsible for the agency’s focus on sustainability, and managed Vestiaire Collective’s PR in Scandinavia. With us, she works primarily with increasing climate commitment both locally in Scandinavia and globally. Beyond the climate issue, Tove’s heart is pounding for animal rights, above all with a commitment to stray dogs around the world.

Emma Bäckström is a trained civil engineer in media technology at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and has most recently worked as a developer at Mentimeter. At GoClimate, in addition to development, she also works with user experience and product development of our web service. In addition to saving the world, Emma wants to pet dogs and go running in the woods!

Besides the fact that we find it so exciting to have a living, growing team, we are extremely happy about what climate benefits this entails – as we can see that the number of co-creators is directly related to how much difference we make for the benefit of the climate. In 2017 we contributed to 660 avoided tonnes of CO2e per co-creator, in 2018 18, 000 avoided tonnes and in 2019 36,670 avoided tonnes per co-creator. We look forward to expanding the team further in 2020 and thus make even more positive difference!

How can we live climate-friendly lives in 2022?

Live a climate-friendly life. Illustration by Irene Danielsson.

What is the most important action one can take for the climate in 2022? Well, different actions have different effects. Try to think big. If it feels awkward to go out in the streets and demonstrate or contact politicians, take a digital course in climate action instead to get an understanding for what the most important thing you can do is.

Become an active citizen

Become an active citizen and put pressure on systems, rules and norms to change. You can do this by:

  • Think BIG! Take a free digital quick course – the Climate Leader – in how you can influence at a system level.
  • Influence your tenant owners’ association. Ask them for example to install solar panels and chargers for electric vehicles, improve insulation to lower your energy consumption, change into renewable electricity and introduce sharing services like carsharing. In addition to having a lower climate footprint, it also makes your apartment block more attractive and resilient for the future.
  • Put pressure on your workplace, your university or school. Ask if they have a climate-smart travel policy in place, if they can introduce a veggies first policy and advise them on calculating their climate footprint. We have developed a tool for companies to do that here.
  • Demonstrate – for the moment digitally. Join FridaysforFuture, Extinction Rebellion or a friend during the next climate strike  if you feel a bit new and lonely in this type of context.
  • Support End Ecocide to make large-scale environmental degradation a crime. Fracking is one example that could potentially count as ecocide. Sign petitions, make a donation so that small island nations can afford to have representatives in place at international climate negotiations or get involved in the movement locally.
  • Contact your political party and demand that they adopt a policy in line with the Paris Agreement.
  • Balance out your lifestyle and help accelerate the transition to renewable energy around the world.

Become a conscious consumer

Become a conscious consumer. Reduce your own climate footprint and gain better knowledge of which area you should focus on. What makes the biggest difference for the climate – replacing the car with a bike for distances under 3 km or recycling every single package? Below we list what has the greatest climate impact for an individual.

  • Think half. Do half of the things that have the biggest carbon footprint in your life – eat half as much red meat, fly half as many times, buy half of the apparel and footwear you normally buy and use your car half as much. Or, focus twice as much on of what has a low climate footprint. Maximize your cycling, your train holidays and your vegan eating (tips – try Veganuary). Choose ONE area to focus on and it is more likely that it will happen.
  • Become a circulator instead of a consumer. Start using sharing services for stuff and transportation.
  • Check out the performance of your financial institutions at FairFinanceGuide and use your influence to demand change. Financial institutions like banks and insurance companies can use your money to facilitate the destruction of our planet by investing in for example coal companies. Ask them to stop doing that!
  • Work less and enjoy life!

UK Parliament unanimously passed the motion to declare environment and climate emergency

Extinction Rebellion Brussels by Nour Livia

Mayday May Day

The first of May is a day of importance every year, by celebrating labourers and the working class. But on the first of May 2019 this day made history with a massive step forward in the fight against Climate Change, as the UK Parliament declared Environment and Climate Emergency.

The votes were unanimous and this is hopefully just the first of many nations to take the same step in declaring a state of emergency. And while this is a thing to celebrate, we must not let our fists down and think this will change anything. We must put pressure on the politicians to make necessary changes. Words have no meaning without action.


But let’s back up a little.

What does it even mean to “declare a state of emergency” for a nation?

A government can declare a state of emergency during a disaster or warfare and gives the government power to take actions that they normally wouldn’t be authorized to.

When a nation declares emergency it also sends a clear signal to the citizens that there indeed is an emergency, and that changes most likely will be made to deal with said emergency.

Nowadays, a lot of legislations and changes takes a very long time to pass.

A state of emergency gives the government freedom to make important decisions faster.

Because no matter how bleak it sounds, we are indeed in the midst of an enormous crisis. The biggest crisis and challenge since the history of mankind. And we need to act fast. The people with the power to make big changes need to be able to act now. Because we are running out of time.

What now?

As mentioned before, without action this declaration means very little. Hopefully it will lead to more nations taking after the U.K. and vote to declare Climate and Ecological Emergency as well.

Extinction Rebellion and other environmental movements and activists need to keep fighting. Keep spreading the pressure on people in power, and gaining more support from the people.

Because even though it’s the people in power who can make the large changes, they won’t do it unless there’s enough pressure from the people.

And we, the people must act now.

Illustration by Ingram Pinn in Financial Times

This post is written by our blogger Evelina Utterdahl. You can read more about her here