Without the intention of doing so, this year has slightly relieved carbon emissions – dropping by 17% within the first two months alone. However this is not the lesson I am addressing. We already knew that by travelling less, carbon emissions would lower. This is not something remarkable – it is what we would expect.
Instead, the most important lesson we can take is that, in a time of crisis, the world really is capable of stepping up to challenge. This urgency, unity and push for solution is the attitude desperately needed to fight against our climate emergency. Already there are ways we, as individuals, can help combat climate change. These have previously been ignored.
The pandemic has taught us that even the smallest of actions is greatly important. Without the public’s contribution, infection rates would be on a scale so unimaginably high by the time the vaccine was produced that it might have been too late. We have always said this about the climate crisis: always said that we should act before it’s too late. Beforehand, people were aware, yet unconvinced that they could do anything to help. It has always seemed like a huge weight that cannot be lifted; ignored out of fear and uncertainty. We know sacrifices will have to be made, we know it is incredibly difficult to reverse the effects of hundreds of years of human activity – but we now also know how powerful we can be together. With everyone’s contribution, there will be change.
Similar to the pandemic, we will have to give everything we can to solve this problem. However, there is now an opportunity for hope. We have shown that in face of crisis, we are able to come together and find solution. Now is the time to step up.