Environment: treading lightly on the Earth
Environment: treading lightly on the Earth

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Environment: treading lightly on the Earth

5.3.2 Government, business and international actions

Other government, business and international actions to address climate change include, in no particular order:

  • international treaties on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, perhaps even to negative emissions (i.e. absorbing more GHGs than are produced through, for example, replanting or creating new forests, or carbon capture and storage)
  • national and international policies on increasing renewable and/or nuclear energy supply
  • regulations on energy labelling of refrigerators, washing machines, etc.
  • regulations on the energy performance of buildings
  • urban and regional planning polices to encourage people to use public transport
  • local authority home insulation and heating improvement schemes
  • company programmes to save energy, avoid waste and reduce car commuting
  • environmental education and information programmes.

Having now considered what the individual, household, community and government can do to help reduce the carbon footprint complete Activity 12 as a summary exercise.

Activity 12 I, we or they?

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes
  • a.List five activities that ‘I’ could do as an active citizen, and what ‘we’ could do as a household, workgroup or community, to reduce your own and others’ carbon footprints.
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Answer

You may have suggested some of the following:

What ‘I’ as an active citizen could do to reduce others’ carbon footprints:

  1. try to educate or persuade other household members, including children, to adopt more environmentally responsible behaviour
  2. join an environmental pressure or support group, or community energy group
  3. lobby local or national politicians on environmental issues
  4. vote for a political party with the best environmental policies.

What ‘we’ as a community or workgroup could do to reduce our and others’ carbon footprints:

  1. try to save energy and resources at work
  2. avoid unnecessary commuting and business travel (e.g. by telephone or online communications)
  3. work with local schools etc. to adopt environmental teaching and policies
  4. work with our employer to adopt environmental policies.
  • b.List five activities that are beyond the control of individual consumers, citizens, community and social groups.
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Answer

You may have suggested some of the following:

What ‘they’ as governments, etc. can do to reduce carbon footprints of the nation, region or world:

  1. adopt policies to increase supplies of renewable and/or nuclear energy
  2. implement national, regional and international agreements and targets to reduce GHG emissions
  3. develop and implement plans to reduce a business organisation’s carbon footprint
  4. adopt and implement regulations to improve the energy performance of buildings and the fuel economy of vehicles
  5. introduce or increase carbon taxes, and/or grants and subsidies to individuals, communities and businesses, to help reduce emissions.
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