Carbon Action Project Launch Booklet | Page 10

Where are we now? Why we need to take action We have known for many years that we are driving the planet to the brink. The astonishing decline in wildlife populations shown by the latest Living Planet Index – a 60% fall in just over 40 years – is a grim remind- er of the pressure we exert on the planet. The causes for this are clear: Overexploitation and ever-expanding agri- culture are driven by spiralling human consumption. Over the past 50 years our Ecological Footprint – one measure of our consumption of nat- ural resources – has increased by about 190%. Some of the changes in human society and our ecology in the last 50 years have been positive, some negative, and all of them are intercon- nected. What is increasingly clear is that human development and well- being are reliant on healthy natural systems, and we cannot continue to enjoy the former without the latter. But if humans can change the planet so profoundly, then it’s also in our power to put things right. In the next years, we need to urgently transi- tion to a net carbon neutral society and halt and reverse nature loss – through green finance, clean energy and environmentally friendly food production. We must also preserve and restore enough land and ocean to a natural state. What can you do? First, make simple changes to your daily life today. Take an audit of your greenhouse gas emissions (your Carbon Footprint) and see where to start reducing your carbon emissions. Second, sup- port efforts to reduce the amount of carbon already in the atmosphere: join a community garden or park care group, donate to put solar panels on houses in East Timor, buy carbon offsets for all those flights and cruises you’ve taken that will help reforest degraded farmland. You get the picture – now let’s make it brighter. - Barbara Burns Based on: WWF “The Living Planet Report” ( knowledge-centre/living-planet-report) Description of Carbon Calculator One way to measure the impact your lifestyle is having on the environ- ment is to estimate how much greenhouse gas emission (mainly carbon Carbon Action Project 7 1 March 2020