Cost of doing nothing
Immediate action on climate change is much less expensive than attempting to deal with it as crises emerge. Nicholas Stern, former Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank estimates delayed action could be as much as 20 times more costly than immediate action. However, it is important to act once you are convinced that global warming is the defining crisis of our time.
We all need to take action to mitigate climate change - but what sort of action? Action needs to be on many different levels to be effective. Guru Kevin Anderson advises that individual and collective (formal and informal institutions) are not separate.
In July 2017, Seth Wynes and Kimberly A Nicholas proposed the following most effective individual actions:
- having one fewer child (an average for developed countries of 58.6 tonnes CO2-equivalent (tCO2e) emission reductions per year),
- living car-free (2.4 tCO2e saved per year),
- avoiding airplane travel (1.6 tCO2e saved per roundtrip transatlantic flight)
- eating a plant-based diet (0.8 tCO2e saved per year).
Climate Action Now has also prepared a list of actions for different levels from individual to collective (see the menu items above).