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10 Ways to Fix Climate Change

The climate crisis demands action at all levels.

The climate crisis demands action at all levels. While governments and industries must make the most sweeping changes, individuals hold power through their choices and their votes. Focus your energy on reducing your carbon footprint with smarter transportation choices, adopting a more plant-based diet, demanding energy efficiency, and supporting sustainable businesses.

Most importantly, use your vote to support climate-conscious leaders, hold those in power accountable, and push for policies that protect our planet.

Here are the ten most important things we need to do now to fix climate change:

#1 Start taking action now, without delay.

The time for waiting is over. Climate change is accelerating, and the longer we delay, the more difficult and expensive the solutions become.

Here’s how you can take the lead:

  • Demand systemic change. Pressure governments and businesses to take bold action. Vote for climate-conscious leaders, support sustainable companies, and make your voice heard to those in power.
  • Transform your habits. Reduce your carbon footprint. Embrace renewable energy, limit your driving, adopt a more plant-based diet, and support businesses committed to sustainability.
  • Empower yourself with knowledge. Understand the science of climate change and the solutions available. Share this knowledge with others to build a movement demanding action.
  • Focus on solutions, not despair. We have the technology and the potential to fight climate change. Knowing viable options exist fosters hope and drives action. #doomer #doomerism
  • Be the change you want to see. Your personal actions matter, but real transformation needs systemic shifts. Inspire others, hold industries accountable, and push for policies that ensure a sustainable future.

Further reading:

  • Climate Science Basics. Climate science in 5 clear, friendly slides.
  • IPCC Reports. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change provides the most comprehensive scientific assessments of climate change. Their findings lay the groundwork for the urgency of action
  • Environmental Protection Agency Climate Change Basics. The EPA offers a user-friendly website with information on the basics of climate change, the causes, impacts, and what we can do about it.
  • NASA Climate Change. Accessible summaries of climate science and the evidence of rapid change.
  • NRDC Learn About the Climate Crisis. A resource focusing on what climate change is, its impact, and opportunities for action.
  • Khan Academy Climate Change. A free, self-paced online course on climate change. This resource offers video lectures, interactive exercises, and articles that break down the science into manageable topics.
  • Project Drawdown Get Involved. By taking action in five key areas, you can do your part to halt climate change before it’s too late.
  • Speed and Scale 2024 Action Guide. “In confronting this enormous challenge, we must be strategic. What should we do first? What will have the biggest difference?”
  • Sapienship 2% More. If humanity invests just an extra 2% of Global GDP in developing eco-friendly technologies and infrastructure every year, this would be enough to prevent catastrophic climate change, while also creating lots of new jobs and economic opportunities.
  • Visual Capitalist, “The Most Carbon-Intensive Sectors in the World. Shows that climate change is not the result of consumers buying picture frames to put family photos in.

#2 Build political will among governments, businesses, and civil society to eliminate fossil fuels and move towards solutions.

Real change demands coordinated, powerful pressure and clear goals.

To create this momentum, we must:

  • Know the fight, not just the science. Understand the political landscape and economic realities influencing climate inaction. Demand solutions go beyond simple education and into the mechanisms of power.
  • Target fossil fuel interests. Push for accountability: expose industry lobbying and funding that blocks climate policies. Support legal and legislative action that curtails fossil fuel influence.
  • Focus the economic argument. Highlight the long-term cost of inaction and the economic benefits of a clean energy transition. Emphasize job creation, stable energy markets, and the financial risks of relying on fossil fuels.
  • Mobilize strategically, not universally. Foster targeted coalitions that wield power. Collaborate on focused campaigns for specific policy shifts, knowing that not every actor will always agree on methods or solutions.
  • Demand accountability with consequences. Hold elected officials and corporations to their climate pledges. Use the power of the vote, public pressure, and targeted boycotts to ensure commitments translate into action.

Further reading:

  • Climate Action Tracker. Monitors country commitments compared to the goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • A leading grassroots climate action organization focused on building movements for change.
  • Citizens Climate Lobby. Empowers individuals to advocate for effective climate policies, building political will to pass bipartisan legislation aimed at curbing carbon emissions. Their approach focuses on respectful engagement with elected officials and fostering grassroots action.
  • The Climate Reality Project. Founded by former Vice President Al Gore, this organization offers educational resources and training programs focused on climate solutions and advocacy.
  • Banking on Climate Chaos. Focusses on the banks that invest in fossil fuel extraction.
  • Influence Map.  Tracks corporate lobbying and its impact on climate policy.
    • Also from Influence Map: Carbon Majors 2024 Report. Quantifies the contribution of the world’s largest oil, gas, coal, and cement producers to global carbon emissions, which are the primary driver of climate change.

#3 Eliminate fossil fuels as the main source of energy and greenhouse gas emissions.

This means a decisive break from industry as usual.

Here’s how we make the shift:

  • Make polluters pay. Institute a robust carbon pricing system. This shifts the true cost of fossil fuels onto producers, making clean energy alternatives more competitive and generating revenue to fund the transition.
  • End fossil fuel handouts. Phase out all subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. Redirect these vast sums towards building a renewable energy infrastructure and supporting workers in the transition.
  • Target energy waste. Overhaul energy efficiency standards for buildings, appliances, and transportation systems. Weatherize homes and businesses, making them use less energy for heating and cooling.
  • Block new fossil fuel projects. Prevent expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure and rescind approvals for projects that lock us into future emissions. Fight for a just transition for workers currently dependent on these industries.
  • Invest massively in renewable solutions. Prioritize massive public funding to scale up solar, wind, geothermal, and other clean energy technologies. Build resilient grids and create jobs for a clean energy economy.

Further reading:

  • The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Reports on renewable energy deployment, costs, and progress towards global targets. (Nico votes changing to IEA)
  • Carbon Tracker. Analyzes the financial risks of fossil fuel investments and the urgency of transitioning away.
  • Sierra Club. Environmental organization involved in legal and political resistance to new fossil fuel projects. 
  • The Production Gap. A report that tracks the misalignment between governments’ planned fossil fuel production and global production levels consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C or 2°C.
  • Our World in Data, Emissions by Sector: “almost three-quarters of emissions come from energy use; almost one-fifth from agriculture and land use”

#4 Accelerate the adoption of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal.

It’s time to make clean energy the norm.

Here’s how we power the transition:

  • Build the infrastructure. Invest in transmission systems and energy storage to integrate renewables into the grid reliably, ensuring power when it’s needed.
  • Dismantle barriers to access. Eliminate unnecessary regulations and provide incentives (like subsidies and tax breaks) that make renewable energy affordable for everyone.
  • Set bold goals, then act on them. Governments and businesses must establish ambitious targets for renewable energy deployment and create clear pathways to achieve them.
  • Make existing solutions a priority. Scale up proven renewable solutions like wind and solar massively. Invest in efficiency upgrades to reduce overall energy demand.
  • Support innovation strategically. Continue research and development for new clean energy technologies, but focus immediate action on deploying the tools we already have at scale.

Further reading:

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). U.S. based research center focusing on renewable technologies and integration into the grid.
  • International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Global resource for renewable energy technology, deployment, and policy information.
  • Beyond Zero Emissions. Outlines detailed renewable energy transition plans with a focus on jobs and economic benefits.
  • The Solutions Project. Maps pathways to 100% renewable energy in countries and regions.
  • Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI): Focuses on analysis of the economic benefits of the clean energy transition and actionable pathways for businesses and governments.
  • IEA 2023 World Energy Outlook. From the International Energy Agency, an analysis of global renewable energy progress, and projections for 2030 based on current investments.

#5 Shift towards sustainable transportation modes such as public transit, cycling, walking, and electric vehicles.

Break our reliance on individual car ownership for a healthier, cleaner future.

Our roadmap for change:

  • Prioritize people, not just cars. Redesign streets to be safe and inviting for walking and cycling. Build connected bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly spaces that make active transportation convenient.
  • Make public transport the preferred choice. Invest heavily in reliable and affordable public transport, expanding routes and hours of operation. Build efficient intercity rail connections for comfortable, low-emission travel.
  • Level the playing field. Institute policies that discourage car use in congested areas (like congestion pricing). Rethink urban planning to put essential services within reach without needing a car.
  • Accelerate electrification. Make electric vehicles the default option by expanding charging infrastructure and offering incentives for purchase. Phase out fossil-fueled vehicles.
  • Foster a culture shift. Educate the public about the benefits of sustainable transport. Show how it improves health, air quality, and quality of life, not just addressing climate change.

Further reading:

  • Strong Towns. Advocates for urban development models that reduce car dependency, prioritize walkability, and promote financial resilience in communities.
  • 15 Minute City (Wikipedia). An urban planning concept in which most daily necessities and services, such as work, shopping, education, healthcare, and leisure can be easily reached by a 15-minute walk, bike ride, or public transit ride from any point in the city.
  • Walk Score. Provides walkability rankings for cities and neighborhoods.
  • PeopleForBikes City Ratings. PeopleForBikes compiles the latest research to measure progress toward creating safe, fun, and connected places to bike and getting more people on bikes more often.
  • The League of American Bicyclists. Advocates for better cycling infrastructure and policy.
  • Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI). Global initiative focused on sustainable transport solutions, particularly in developing countries, with an emphasis on equity and inclusion.
  • Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP). Promotes sustainable and equitable transport solutions globally.

#6 Adopt planet-friendly agriculture practices such as organic farming, agroforestry, permaculture, and regenerative agriculture.

It’s time to grow food in a way that nourishes the Earth, not depletes it.

Here’s how we transform how we farm:

  • Support farmers, not factory farms. Prioritize funding and policies that help farmers transition to planet-friendly practices. End subsidies for industrial agriculture that harms the environment.
  • End food waste, value what we grow. Reduce waste through better planning and food redistribution. Support initiatives that fight food insecurity and respect the value of our food system.
  • Knowledge is power for farmers. Provide education, resources, and collaborative networks to help farmers implement regenerative methods and share best practices.
  • Endorse sustainable farms. Champion smaller, diverse farms that use planet-friendly practices. This boosts local economies and innovation.
  • Consumers drive change. Choose sustainably-produced food. Look for certifications, shop local when possible, and support businesses that align with these values.

Further reading:

  • Rodale Institute. A pioneer in regenerative agriculture research and education.
  • Kiss the Ground. Accessible website about soil health and its connection to climate change.
  • Civil Eats. Investigative reporting and analysis on sustainable food systems and social justice issues.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Data and reports on global food systems and sustainable agriculture practices.
  • World Resources Institute, Creating a Sustainable Food Future. Research on how to feed a growing population with less environmental impact.
  • The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Provides scientific assessments on biodiversity, including reports relevant to the environmental impact of food production.

#7 Eat a more climate friendly diet that is low in animal products and high in plant-based foods.

Our food choices have a powerful impact on the planet.

Here’s how to make your plate part of the solution:

  • Cut back on the most impactful meats. Beef has a particularly large environmental footprint. Reducing or eliminating it makes the biggest difference, with other meats following.
  • Explore delicious plant-based options. Beans, lentils, tofu, whole grains, nuts, and seeds are packed with protein and nutrients. Get creative in the kitchen and prioritize plant-based meals.
  • Source wisely, support local. When possible, choose seasonal, local produce. Support urban farms and producers, big and small, with sustainable practices.
  • Waste less, appreciate more. Plan meals thoughtfully, compost scraps, and share surplus food to combat food waste. Respect the resources that go into our food.
  • Share the knowledge, empower others. Learn about the connection between food systems and climate change. Share resources and inspire your community to make conscious choices.

Further reading:

  • Forks Over Knives. Offers plant-based recipes, meal plans, and resources to help individuals transition to a plant-forward diet.
  • FoodPrint. Focuses on assessing the environmental footprint of various foods, helping consumers understand the climate impacts of their dietary choices.
  • Eat-Lancet Report. Landmark report linking planetary health with sustainable diets.

#8 Create sustainable cities and buildings that are energy-efficient, water-efficient, waste-efficient, and resilient.

The places we live and work shape our impact on the planet.

Let’s build a better future:

  • Make efficiency the standard. Retrofit existing buildings for energy efficiency and construct new ones to the highest standards. Prioritize insulation, efficient appliances, and smart energy management.
  • Design for walkability and transit. Reduce reliance on cars by building walkable neighborhoods with safe bike paths and prioritize reliable public transportation.
  • Respect and protect water. Invest in water-efficient fixtures, rainwater collection systems, and greywater reuse. Minimize water pollution with green infrastructure.
  • Embrace the circular economy. Redesign systems to minimize waste. Promote composting, effective recycling, and reduce dependence on single-use materials.
  • Plan for resilience and adaptation in the face of climate change. Strengthen infrastructure against extreme weather. Incorporate nature-based solutions (like green roofs) to manage temperature and flooding, and planting trees to provide shade and reduce heat island effect.

Further reading:

  • C40 Cities. Network of megacities collaborating on climate solutions with a strong focus on the built environment.
  • U.S. Green Building Council – LEED Certification. Sets standards for energy-efficient building design and construction.
  • Biomimicry Institute. Promotes nature-inspired solutions for urban design and resilience.
  • Project for Public Spaces. Focuses on placemaking and community-centered approaches to urban design, creating vibrant, livable, and equitable spaces.
  • Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU). Advocates for walkable, mixed-use urban development and alternatives to sprawl, with a focus on policy and implementation.
  • Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT). Provides tools and research for sustainable urban development, including a focus on equity and affordability.

Additional data:

  • EIA US Residential Building Energy Use.
    • “The average U.S. household consumes about 10,500 kilowatthours (kWh) of electricity per year. However, electricity use in homes varies widely across regions of the United States and among housing types.”
  • EIA US Commercial Building Energy Use.
    • “In 2018, the United States had about 5.9 million commercial buildings, totaling about 96.4 billion square feet of floorspace. Energy consumption in these buildings was about 6.8 quadrillion British thermal units (quads). Major fuels consumed within commercial buildings accounted for about 72% of commercial sector end-use energy consumption.”

#9 Protect and restore our environment by conserving natural habitats, restoring degraded ecosystems, and enhancing ecosystem services.

Our planet is our most powerful ally in the climate fight.

Here’s how we safeguard its power:

  • Defend existing ecosystems. Forests, oceans, wetlands – these are vital carbon sinks and biodiversity havens. Protect them through nature reserves, sustainable management, and fierce opposition to destructive development.
  • Revive damaged landscapes. Reforestation, wetland restoration, and regenerative practices bring degraded lands back to life. This boosts biodiversity and strengthens nature’s ability to absorb carbon.
  • Invest in nature’s solutions. Nature-based solutions harness the power of healthy ecosystems to mitigate climate change. Support projects that rewild, conserve, and strategically restore our natural world.
  • Protect the oceans. Oceans absorb vast amounts of carbon. Curb pollution, overfishing, and destructive practices that threaten ocean health and their buffering capacity.
  • Spread the knowledge, build the movement. Educate others about the interconnectedness of healthy ecosystems and a stable climate. Demand policies that value nature as our essential infrastructure. Join local conservation groups! Volunteer, get involved, and make your voice heard to protect the places you love.

Further reading:

  • The Nature Conservancy. Leading global conservation organization protecting critical habitats.
  • World Wildlife Fund (WWF). International organization with a wide range of conservation work, including forests, oceans, and endangered species.
  • Greenpeace. International organization known for direct action campaigns to protect the environment, often with a strong climate justice focus.
  • National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). An influential environmental advocacy organization using science, law, and the power of people to combat climate change and safeguard our natural world.
  • Sierra Club. Founded in 1892, the Sierra Club is one of the oldest and most influential grassroots environmental organizations in the United States, with a legacy of protecting wild places and promoting sustainability.
  • The Wilderness Society. US-focused on protecting public lands and wild places.
  • Friends of the Earth Europe. Largest grassroots environmental network in Europe, uniting more than 30 national organizations with thousands of local groups.
  • Ocean Conservancy. Dedicated to ocean protection, addressing issues like pollution, overfishing, and climate-related threats.
  • The Convention on Biological Diversity. International treaty focused on biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.

#10 Ensure global warming stays below dangerous limits by limiting the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, preferably to 1.5°C.

This is our non-negotiable goal for a livable future.

Here’s how we fight for it:

  • Slash emissions across all sectors. Transition rapidly away from fossil fuels in energy, transport, industry, and agriculture. Set ambitious science-based targets and hold governments and corporations accountable.
  • Protect and expand forests. End deforestation immediately. Support reforestation, sustainable forest management, and policies that recognize forests as critical carbon sinks.
  • Scale up renewable energy massively. Ensure a just transition to a clean energy economy, prioritizing solar, wind, and other sustainable technologies. Break down barriers that slow this shift.
  • Demand energy efficiency everywhere. Overhaul buildings, appliances, and transport systems to use less energy. Make efficiency upgrades accessible to all.
  • Invest in solutions and innovation. Support research and development for emerging clean technologies. Prioritize solutions that address the needs of the most climate-vulnerable communities.

Further reading:

  • The Paris Agreement (See UNFCCC Website): The cornerstone international agreement aiming to limit warming to well-below 2C, preferably 1.5C.
  • IPCC Reports: The core scientific resource. The latest Assessment Reports (AR6, in particular) provide comprehensive data on climate targets, mitigation pathways, and adaptation needs. 
  • Climate Action Tracker: A tool evaluating countries’ progress against their climate pledges and commitments.
  • Project Drawdown Solutions Library. “Each solution presented here reduces greenhouse gases by avoiding emissions and/or by sequestering carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere.”
  • Resources with a focus on equity:
    • The Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice. A center for thought leadership, education and advocacy on the struggle to secure global justice for those people vulnerable to the impacts of climate change who are usually forgotten – the poor, the disempowered and the marginalized across the world.
    • Climate Equity Reference Project. Provides scholarship, tools, and analysis to advance global climate equity, as a value in itself and as a realist path towards an ambitious global climate regime

General Climate Data Tracking:

  • NASA Climate Dashboard. Excellent for global visualizations of key climate indicators (temperature, sea ice, sea level, etc.). User-friendly, visually compelling, and highlights the interconnectedness of Earth’s climate systems.
  • A broad and reliable portal for US-focused climate data, news, and educational resources. Great for tracking US trends and impacts.
  • IPCC Data Distribution Centre: The Data Distribution Centre (DDC) provides climate, socio-economic and environmental data, both from the past and also in scenarios projected into the future. Technical guidelines on the selection and use of different types of data and scenarios in research and assessment are also provided. The DDC is designed primarily for climate change researchers, but materials contained on the site may also be of interest to educators, governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as the general public.

Specific Focus Areas:

  • Berkeley Earth. Known for its independent analysis of global temperature data. Valuable if you’re interested in temperature trends specifically or want to compare different temperature datasets.
  • EPA Climate Dashboard. US-centric with a strong focus on the indicators of climate change (like greenhouse gas levels, extreme weather events, etc.). Good if you track the impacts of climate change within the US.
  • EU Indicators Dashboard. Shows internal EU sources of greenhouse gasses.
  • NCEI NOAA. Large collection of maps and satellite data and recorded measurements of climate change, from the National Centers for Environmental Information, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.
  • Copernicus Climate Change. Copernicus is the European Union‘s Earth Observation Programme.