Whether or not you can install solar panels, a wind turbine, or a geothermal system, you can still make a difference with renewable energy investments and fossil fuel divestment’s.
In order to meet climate change goals, we have to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Studies have shown that 80% of the world’s fossil fuels must remain underground in order to ensure we can still mitigate climate change impacts. To make matters a bit more challenging, the UN recently reported that we have little more than a decade to curb our emissions in order to minimize risks of catastrophic drought, famine, poverty, and uninhabitable regions.
This all sounds terrifying, but there are some silver linings. First, a substantial list of organizations – plus New York City and the entire country of Ireland – have committed to fully or partially divesting from fossil fuels over the next few years.
Second, while mitigating climate change as an individual sounds like a lofty undertaking, there are still some things you can do besides recycling, adopting energy efficiency practices, and supporting candidates and representatives who make clean energy a priority.
Talk to your financial advisor or someone at your bank about your investment portfolio. They can help you move your investments away from fossil fuels and infrastructure and into clean energy and technology. Engage your workplace and colleagues or university and fellow students about their investments, too, and the importance of understanding what they are promoting and funding.
If divestment and defunding sounds complicated, or if you don’t yet have investment funds, don’t fret! There are still a couple of ways you can get involved and have an impact:
Help protect public lands. Sign petitions bringing attention to the fact that much of fossil fuel energy production over the last few years has come from drilling and mining on public lands. Simply copy and paste “petitions protect public lands against drilling” into your search engine toolbar. Protectourpublicland.org, Credo Action, wilderness.org, change.org, the National Wildlife Federation, the NRDC, and many others are committed to this effort. You can be, too!
Local movements and passionate voices will always give momentum to this action and shine light on this very important issue. The more we put pressure on all sectors to promote clean energy and incorporate clean energy investments and practices in their operations, the easier it becomes for us all to meet the deadline set by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
What are you doing today to ensure we have a clean energy future?