The recently released IPCC 6th Assessment Report confirms that the science of climate change is settled. We urgently need to scale up climate action to ensure both people and nature thrive into the future.
This decade is critical to limiting climate change and, though we’re not out of time yet, it’s vital that we act now.
The good news is that we already have amazing, innovative solutions. We can limit the worst impacts of climate change while building a better world for us and future generations.
South West Catchments Council is working with the community, from industry leaders to landcare volunteers, to implement these solutions and with your support we can make even more difference.
What does the report tell us?
Experts from across the world are united in certainty that human activities are changing our climate far more rapidly than any natural variation.
Australia’s land temperature has increased by 1.4 degrees Celsius since 1910 and we’re already seeing changes to our climate. In just the last few weeks, we’ve experienced extreme rainfall events causing widespread flooding. Intense storms have eroded our beautiful coastline, felled countless trees and damaged property.
Predictions with high levels of certainty tell us that the temperature in our region will continue to increase. Winter and spring rainfall will decrease, bushfires will be hotter and more intense and sea levels will rise.
As alarming as that seems, the report provides reassurance that it’s not too late for us to tackle climate change. However, time is running out and we need to limit the extent of future warming by cutting our greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
But what can individuals do about such a large global issue?
Lobbying our elected leaders to protect us is one of the most important things we can do.
Australia is lagging behind on its commitment to the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. If all countries made the same commitment as us, the world would be on course to heat by 3 degrees. The earth hasn’t been that hot for over 3 million years.
The government has the power to limit emissions from industry, block polluting new projects and invest in more efficient energy and transport systems. They can commit to funding solutions that capture carbon and improve our way of life.
Writing to your local, state and federal representatives to demand action, calling or setting up meetings to voice your concerns and getting active on social media are all effective ways to make an impact.
Be a Mindful Global Citizen
As individuals, we have consumer power to encourage businesses to do better. Everything we buy has a carbon footprint, so look for carbon neutral, low carbon or locally made products. Better yet, don’t buy it in the first place, unless you really need it.
Other ways of reducing your carbon footprint include:
- Using less power by choosing efficient products, switching appliances off and insulating your home.
- Investing in solar, which can pay for itself by cutting your power bill.
- We’re not flying as much due to COVID but we can still go easy on the fuel by buying more efficient vehicles, carpooling, using public transport, cycling or walking.
- Composting your food and garden waste and recycling what you can.
- Buying offsets to cut your remaining carbon footprint.
What is SWCC doing and how can you support us?
The ultimate carbon storage solution has kindly been provided by nature – trees!
Here in the South West, we’re working with landholders to plant more trees, which attract wildlife and improve the amenity of our region. Over the last 20 years, SWCC and our members have planted a whopping 1.5 million seedlings!
We work to store carbon in soil, which has the added benefit of increasing farm production. We research and educate farmers on ways to make agriculture more sustainable, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions from livestock. We’re also supporting our community to adapt to climate change.
As a not-for-profit charity, we rely on grants and donations to continue our vital work. To support us, head to the Donations page. To make a larger donation or partner with us, contact [email protected].
Now is a time for hope and action. We hope you’ll join us in building a better future!