Fighting for Earth: How is taking action to stop climate change

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In the year I was born, the Earth’s air had about 344.1 parts per million (ppm) of carbon. The safe amount for a healthy planet is 350 ppm – that’s why the organization I’ve been leading for 15 years is called But today, that number has gone up to 411.44 ppm.

The consequences are calamitous. On July 4, 2023, the world had its hottest day ever recorded. This happened during the hottest week and month ever too. This summer, places in Europe, North Africa, and the U.S. got so hot that it felt like they were melting. There were big floods in India and Japan, and wildfires are still burning in Canada. The oceans are also hotter than they’ve ever been. Overall, the Earth’s temperature is now about 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.2 Fahrenheit) higher than it used to be.

The temperature could rise by more than 3 degrees Celsius if we don’t do something about it. To stay under a 1.5-degree increase, which experts say is the threshold of safety, we need to really change how we make energy, grow food and travel. If we don’t, the problems we’re seeing now will seem small compared to what’s coming.

The climate problem is connected to an energy problem. While many of us struggle with high energy bills, the companies that make fossil fuels (like coal, oil and gas) made lots of money in 2022, even as their fuels cause catastrophic damage around the world.

This is not okay. It makes me really mad and it makes the people I work with at mad too. The companies that are causing this mess need to pay for it and our governments should make them do so.

More than 300,000 march in solidarity for Climate accountability, at the People’s Climate March on September 21, 2014.
Photo By: Robert van Waarden

It’s time to say “yes” to a better future

For a long time, we’ve been saying “no.” We’ve been telling everyone to “keep fossil fuels in the ground” and “stop investing in them.” And we’ve made progress.

Now, it’s time to start saying “yes” to a better future. Science says we need to and we have the technology to make it happen. We need to commit to making positive changes. We need the world to come together and say a big “yes.”

Here’s some good news: this year, the world is adding a lot of new clean energy – 0.44 terawatts (TW) to be exact. That’s twice the amount experts thought we’d reach back in 2020. This is a big step in the right direction.

But if we want to keep the temperature from rising too much, we need to aim for at least 1.5 terawatts of new clean energy every year from 2030 onward. This is what studies from our group and Climate Analytics tell us.

That’s why we’re saying 2023 should be the year we really focus on finding solutions for a healthy planet. It’s not just about switching from bad energy to good energy, it’s about making sure everyone benefits from these changes, no matter where they live or how much money they have.

Change is happening

People all over the world are taking action. They’re starting movements to make energy in their communities and they want everyone to have a say in it. They know that using clean energy is about more than just helping the planet – it’s also about being fair and making things better for everyone.

Using clean energy can also create new jobs that are good for people and the planet. Done right, it can help countries share new technology so everyone can use it. And most importantly, it can help people who have been treated unfairly in the past.

Governments play a big role too. They need to make strong rules that support clean energy and stop giving money to the companies that make fossil fuels. They also need to work together, help each other and especially help those countries that want to use clean energy but need assistance to get started.

It’s time for action, not just words. Each of us can make a difference, whether by supporting clean energy policies, using less energy or helping groups that are fighting for a better future. Let’s take this moment in history and work toward a world where clean energy is the norm and fossil fuels are a thing of the past.

Let’s work together for a better tomorrow

This November, is starting a global movement called Power Up, a campaign to shift money and political influence away from fossil fuel companies and toward a renewable, equitable planet for all of us. Together with our partners in the CREDO Mobile community, we can create a world that runs on clean, fair and sustainable energy for everyone, now and in the future.

Climate activists use light projection to deliver their message at the #KliMalaya Climate Ralky on November 6, 2021 in Quezon City. The creative protest part of the worldwide march for climate that is calling on world leaders attending the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow to take bold and ambitious climate action.