World Environment Day – How climate change influences the environment

Lets celebrate World Environment Day with some thoughts about the future of the day that marks the origin of political environmental activism

World Environment Day – How climate change influences the environment

Every year, on the 5th of June, we celebrate World Environment Day. It started in 1973, founded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and its mission is very clear: To create a global platform for environmental activism. In 2022, there is even more reason to celebrate. This year marks 50 years since the first environmental summit that led to the global rollout of the sustainable development goals.  

Global environment-related figures are alarming 

While international meetings and exchange are essential to fighting climate change, figures still show impact to be too low. The recent IPCC report already gave an alarming outlook on the future. But while it seems like everyone is aiming for carbon reductions and environmental consciousness, a report of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) showed that 2021 was another record year for climate change: highest temperature increase, rising sea levels and natural catastrophes are becoming more and more likely. A study shows that the heat wave we are already seeing in India and Pakistan this year was made 30 times more likely due to human-caused climate change. This summer is expected to reach new highs in temperature worldwide. And the worst? The ones that suffer most, are normally also the ones that impact climate change the least. This does not always only concern the extremes. It is true, that developing countries are the first to be affected, but these inequalities can actually already be seen in the same region, no matter if developing or developed countries. An investigation in New York revealed that the poor in the city are a lot more affected by heat waves than the rich. 

Attempts to meet global sustainability goals 

Luckily, there are many climate pioneers and the urge to action is even reaching countries that neglected the environment completely so far - read our blog on Chinese climate movement here. But what needs to happen to incorporate change on the scale necessary to slow down climate change? 

Countries need to integrate stricter sustainability regulations. Many regional governments as well as businesses don’t know where to start, so regulations can also be great guidelines to create a concrete strategy towards net zero. Countries can also learn from each other. Every country has its weaknesses and strengths. If we look at what works for others already instead of seeing climate action as a competition, we might eventually identify the value cooperation has to achieve greater goals. 

Businesses need to make decisions more wisely. While they might not feel responsible for all the actions that are caused across their value chain, they definitely have a huge impact on their partners, customers or suppliers’ sustainability actions. Again, sustainability should not be a competition. Businesses always profit from partnerships, outbalancing their weaknesses and emphasizing their strengths. 

 Individuals influence companies actively through their consumption decisions. They can also actively take a stance in their local political decisions. Signing environment related petitions might change the local infrastructures. We know it is frustrating to talk against higher and louder voices but in order to drive change faster, we should demand whatever we need to live the lifestyle that will lead us to a sustainable future. And it might eventually be easier to engage than you think. So grab your phone and do some research on how you can be part of your local sustainability movement. Projects that take place in Berlin can be found here. 

Some Utopian thoughts on World Environment Day 2030 

We do not want to pretend we can foresee the future. But there are indeed some trends that we expect to take off in the next couple of years. Decarbonization was not even a topic for most businesses, especially not B2B, until recently. And it might still take some more time, until there is a common awareness and feeling of responsibility on environmental topics. At the same time, we see a lot of work happening on governmental sides. Being confronted from both sides, governments and customers, with carbon reductions constantly, will eventually change the mindset of people. People together build communities, businesses, cities and states. We believe that we are able to find a solution together on how to reach a higher scale of action by combining our expertise. If legal frameworks on top provide an environment that is supporting rather than forcing actors in CO2-reducing activities, we can eventually say that we’re halfway there.  

We believe that World Environment Day 2030 will be filled with positive climate messages from all around the world, not because we’ve fixed climate change – that will certainly take longer, but because we encourage each other to try a bit harder, learning from each other and getting closer to solutions every single day. Decarbonization is going to be a big part of it and we’re very proud to have been there, even long before Tracks was born, when measuring and managing CO2 was still just an idea in the head of our CEO Jakob Muus. 

 

Photo by Hanson Lu from Unsplash