Practical Climate Action Solutions to Combat Climate Change

What is climate change?

Climate change refers to the long term shifts in temperature and weather patterns. Such shifts can be natural due to changes in the sun’s activity or large volcanic eruptions.

Climate change is the significant variation of average weather conditions becoming, for example, warmer, wetter or drier – over several decades or longer. Primarily human activities have been the main driver of climate change, due to the burning of fossils and fuels like coal, oil and gas, which produces heat trapping gases.

Climate Action:

Climate action refers to efforts taken to combat climate change and its impact. It involves the reducing greenhouse gas emissions and taking action to prepare for and adjust to both the current effects of climate change, the predicted impacts in the future – climate adaptation.

Main goal of climate action:

  1. Building knowledge and capacity to meet climate change.
  2. Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change, mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.

Benefits of climate action

Climate action has the following benefits;

  • Health benefits: Reducing the amount of emission of dangerous air pollutants like tropospheric Ozone[O3] and black carbon, will prevent premature deaths each year from air pollution and climate change. We also avoid public health diseases like vector borne diseases that are more rampant when the temperatures are extremely high.
  • Food Security: Rising temperatures threatens food security through increase in pests and diseases, intense droughts and floods, thus production of poor yields or no harvest. Reducing short-lived climate pollutants gives us our best chance to rapidly limit global temperature rise and reduce the risks to food security.
  • Economic benefits: The impact of short-lived climate pollutants on public health, agricultural production have economic positive impact. They create employment opportunities and hence increasing household income, as well as lasting benefits from improved public health, reduced poverty and inequality and lessen the impacts of climate change.
  • To reduce the greenhouse gas emission and adapt to climate change.

Climate action advocates for the improvement to individual and public health due to more active lifestyles, cleaner air, growth in the low-carbon jobs market and improved water and soil quality.

We can advocate for climate actions by doing the following:

Climate action can begin with you. There are so many individual achievable activities that one can do to make a difference. This will essentially raise the importance or awareness issues to policy makers and businesses to be at the forefront of taking care of the environment, starting at the local surroundings in our communities.

  • Reducing your energy use and bills.

Small changes to your behavior at home can be of great change to climate. This will help to use less energy, cutting the carbon footprint and energy bills that are used at home or even offices.

Suitable dressing, putting on an extra layer of clothing and turn down the heating a degree or two for healthy purposes.

  • Cut back on flying

If you need to fly for work, consider using zoom or video-conferencing instead to hold meetings, trainings and workshops for your various programs at work. For trips in the same country or continent take a train or use an electric car and public transport.

Leisure trips which include vacations, choose nearby destinations that can be accessible, use public transport, try car sharing and opt to fly economy, because on average, a passenger in business class has a carbon footprint three times higher than someone in economy. If flying is unavoidable, pay little extra for carbon offsetting.

  • Eat less meat and dairy

Avoid eating meat and dairy products is one biggest ways to reduce environmental impact on the planet. Studies suggest that a high-fibre, plant-based diet is also better for your health, and replacing meat with protein-rich pulses can also be cost effective.

The national food strategy, commissioned by the government in 2023, shows we need to reduce our meat intake by 30% by 2032 to meet health, climate and nature commitments. Eating a smaller portion of meat especially beef and lamb, which has the largest environmental impact, reduce the intake of dairy products and switch them for non-dairy alternative.

We are encouraged to choose fresh, seasonal produce that is grown locally to help reduce the carbon emissions from transportation, preservation and prolonged refrigeration.

  • Respect and protect the green spaces

Green spaces such as parks and gardens play a very critical role in environmental conservation. They absorb carbon dioxide and are associated with lower levels of air pollution.

  1. They help regulate the temperature by cooling overheated urban areas.
  2. Reduce flood risks by absorbing surface rainwater
  3. They provide important habitants for insects, animals, birds and amphibians
  4. Provide multiple benefits to public health, studies link green space to reduced levels of stress.

Create your own green space e.g adding pot plants on your balcony or window sill, door space and lastly don’t replace the grass with paving or artificial turf. Help people plant many trees yearly, by joining community groups if you don’t have direct access to open spaces.

  • Make you voice hard by those in power

Talk to your member of parliament, chiefs, senators, elders on the importance of climate action

For the wellbeing of the environment and it safety for the future generation, depends on the decisions made by our current leaders about the environment, green spaces, waste management, recycling, infrastructure and energy efficiency. Reducing carbon emissions will have a positive impact on the environment and other local issues such as improving air quality and public health, creating jobs and reducing inequality.

  • Bank and invest your money responsibly

Consult with your bank and ask them where are they investing your money, you can ask and opt out funds investing in fossil fuels. Encourage and campaign for banks and pension funds to invest in sustainability, responsible investment that weigh up environmental, social and governance[ESG] factors.

  • Cut consumption and waste

Be mindful of what you eat, because everything we use as consumers affects the environment. Try not to buy more than you need, and embrace the value of your current item.

We can extend the lifespan of products by:

Repair, reuse, upcycle and customize your items instead of discarding them. Buy second-hand items from charity shops or buy quality items that last longer.

Chose brands that align with your eco-friendly values, demand transparency from retailers and beware of greenwashing. Trace your product’s journey by reading labels to learn about human and material resources, this help an individual to make informed purchases by choosing brands that align with his/her eco-friendly values.

Try to minimize waste. This can be achieved by:

  1. Minimizing food waste by planning meals and properly storing leftovers and consider composting organic waste.
  2. Sorting your waste into the right categories so that it can be recycled properly.
  3. Some brands take customer feedback seriously, let them know if they are using too much packaging.
  4. Ask your purchases to be presented in recycled or minimal package.
  • Talk about the changes you make or will make

We learn through experience. People make more confident choices when they can learn from others’ experience. When we see others take action it helps to move the dial on what is seen as ‘normal’ thus, adapting the habits of taking care of the environment.

Share the experiences, best and challenging moments that you experience as you make these positive changes to reduce your environmental impact.

Lastly, climate crisis can bring up intense overwhelming feelings, such as worry, sadness, guilty and anger. These can be hard to cope with, leading to mental health impacts and feelings of paralysis that will prevent effective actions to address the crisis.


Grantham institute – Climate Change and the Environment, an institution of Imperial College London, 2023

Author: Leah Nyambuche

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