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Citizens and communities actions are meaningful, impactful and urgently needed

March 30, 2022

Recent research has found that citizens have a direct influence over 25-27 percent of the emissions savings needed by 2030 to avoid an ecological meltdown. How? By making key lifestyle changes.

Individual action is particularly relevant between now and 2030, the most important decade for climate action. The paper “The power of people” shows that, given the time it takes for robust and urgent action by governments and industry to deliver deep reductions, it is vital that citizens take these actions by 2030.

The research was carried out by academics at Leeds University, in collaboration with the global engineering firm Arup and the C40 group of world cities. It lists some possible individual actions: reducing vehicle ownership, changing eating habits, reducing flying, reducing the number of new clothes purchased, and keeping electronics and appliances for as long as possible. 

“The 25-27% is actually a minimum figure for the impact of citizens, because citizens can also have indirect influence on large portions of the remaining 73%, encouraging government and industries to make the changes needed. For instance, through consumer demand or political activity to influence policy”, the report says.

For the changes led by citizens and communities, it is higher income groups that must take faster and bigger action. Lower income groups tend to exhibit lower levels of high impact behavior such as flying and multiple vehicle households. As a result, when considering lower income groups, the responsibility for making shifts is lower than high income groups, dropping from covering 25-27% of emissions to just 9%.


Source: The Jump