Deeds not Words: 8 Things you Can Do Now after COP26

After 2 weeks of negotiations at COP26, the Glasgow Climate Pact has been finalised. Limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees is crucial, but Climate Action Tracker estimates that even if all the pledges made are met, we are still on course for 2.4 – 2.7 degrees of warming. To quote Greta Thunberg, COP26 has been more “blah, blah, blah” – a lot of talk when what we need is action. Yes, there have been some headline grabbing announcements – such as ending deforestation by 2030 – but a closer look at the details shows these pledges to be greenwashing.

Our “leaders” are not listening to the science – we have been warned it is “code red” for humanity and we need action now to have any chance of staying below 1.5 degrees. With the ineffective outcome of COP26, it would be understandable to feel that there is little hope left.

There is still hope, however, if we all take action as individuals to pressure governments, banks and companies to do the right thing and end the use of fossil fuels, alongside reducing our personal emissions. To quote Magid Magid in The Art of Disruption, “Hope is not a strategy, and without a plan, it’s just a wish. Alongside having hope, we have to set goals and work out how we achieve these goals through action. We have to be participants, agents and a force for good: as well as having hope, we must be a hope, too.”

With that in mind, here are some of our top eco-actions you can do which will make a difference:

1. Go to a Climate Protest

One of the best ways to make our voices heard is to take to the streets. If we make enough noise, the government can’t ignore us!

During the first week of COP26 Caroline went to Glasgow to join other activists in voicing their fears about the terrifying lack of political will to end fossil fuels. Last weekend we both attended the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice alongside thousands of others around the country (and world) crying out for system change.

It’s likely there will be a lot more climate protests happening now COP26 is over, so consider joining a local Fridays For Future or Extinction Rebellion protest. See our top tips for going to a climate protest.

2. Move Your Money

Check out our post on banks that are financing climate change and if your bank is on the list, move your cash to a greener provider and let your old bank know why you’ve left.

3. Keep Hassling

Keep up the pressure on your MP, councillors and companies by writing, tweeting and signing petitions. Make sure your voice is heard!

4. Travel Greener

Reduce your car use and consider switching to an electric car when your current vehicle needs replacing.

5. Reduce Fossil Fuel Use at Home

At the moment, we are all very reliant on fossil fuels for energy, heating and transport. But that doesn’t mean we can’t limit our use as much as possible. See our post on 30 ways to save energy to use fewer fossil fuels in your home.

6. Don’t Waste Anything

We’ve written loads of posts on reducing waste – check out the highlights here:

Reducing Waste Part 1 and Part 2

Reducing Food Waste

Refill Shops

Bathroom Swaps and Period Products

7. Buy Less Stuff

Fast fashion, built-in obsolescence, single-use plastic – consumerism has a lot to answer for. Globally, 60% of greenhouse gas emissions are due to household consumption. So, by buying less stuff, you can reduce your emissions and save money! When you do need something, consider buying second hand, borrowing or renting, before buying new. Check out our post on second hand clothes for inspiration.

8. Keep on Recycling

As Denis the Dustcart says, recycling is literally the least we can each do. Check out I didn’t know you could recycle that for ideas on where to recycle stuff that isn’t collected at the kerbside.

We know that COP26 hasn’t been a complete failure and the Glasgow Climate Pact is a step in the right direction. However, we don’t have time for incremental steps. The world urgently needs to be making huge strides to avert climate chaos if we are to have any chance of halving global emissions by 2030 and limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. Pledges are NOT action and we all need to play an urgent role in converting words into action.

2 Responses

  1. Some reactions to COP26 and what we need to do now:

    Christiana Figueres – “If a bus were hurtling towards a child in the middle of the road, no one nearby would take merely one step to get that child out of the way. They would rush, at speeds previously unbeknownst to them, using every muscle in their body, to get that child to safety.
    On the climate crisis, a bus is careering toward us and we have still not flexed all our muscle power to get ourselves or future generations to safety.
    The success of Cop26 lies in the eyes of the beholder. Many will say that we continue to irresponsibly spin the political wheels, and from some vantage points that is true, but no one can deny that Cop26 has hastened the speed of the wheels of change. However, the question still remains, will we ultimately end up under the bus, or will the added speed of action deliver us and our descendants to safety? The answer to that is up to all of us.”

    George Monbiot – “A fair chance of preventing more than 1.5C of heating means cutting greenhouse gas emissions by about 7% every year: faster than they fell in 2020, at the height of the pandemic.
    Our survival depends on raising the scale of civil disobedience until we build the greatest mass movement in history, mobilising the 25% who can flip the system.”

    Chris Packham – “Angry, scared and betrayed. We have been failed and scorned by the stupid, the greedy and the evil. Life is now in mortal danger. But it’s not over, it’s just down to us to do what needs to be done and we need to go to it now.”

  2. Friends of the Earth – “The Glasgow Climate Pact claims to keep the critical “1.5C global warming goal alive” – a misleading message that’s saturating the media. Alive – but it’s basically comatose. The Pact doesn’t get the world on track for keeping global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees. It neither delivers the emissions cuts needed from Global North countries, nor the crucial finance needed for Global South countries to do the same.”

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