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How you can live a 1.5 degree life

Together we can help make a difference for our planet by reducing our emissions.

5 August 2019   |   4 min read

The climate emergency is real and scientists warn we must limit emissions to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030. So here is a list of the most effective actions you can take to live a 1.5 degree life.

What’s happening with our planet?

The climate is changing at an unprecedented rate. And human activity is causing it. But because we’re causing it, we have the power to change our behaviour and save our planet.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report in October 2018 that said we must limit our warming to 1.5-degrees by 2030 or face unprecedented changes to our planet. If left unabated, warming could increase to such high levels by the end of the century, our planet could become uninhabitable.

The last five years have been the hottest on record. And around the world the effects of climate change are already being felt with floods, fires, heatwaves, droughts and rising sea levels impacting people. In 2018, 224 cities around the world set new heat records.

By 2050 it’s predicted that there will be 1 billion climate refugees. Already a community in the Solomon Islands has become the first community in the Pacific to relocate due to climate change, rebuilding an entire township and relocating from their island to the mainland.

But there is something we can do!

CO2 emissions need to decline by 45% by 2030. By 2050 they need to reach net-zero. And we all have a role to play. The good news is, we have all the technology right now to start living a 1.5-degree life. This is such an important issue and something all of us can act on.

We’ve pulled together some of the leading organisations in Australia to help us understand the most effective actions we can take. For some of these it’s a simple switch you only do once, but for others you’ll need to consider shifting your behaviour.

Work your way through these actions and share your journey with us by using the hashtag #1point5life.

Here’s an overview of the action

1. Ditch energy generated by fossil fuels
Fossil fuels are the number one contributor to global heating. And yet they still provide 80% of the world’s energy. But good news is renewable energy is on the rise. And even if you can’t install solar panels on the roof of your house, you can switch your energy provider to one that uses renewable energy and offsets your carbon footprint. 

2. Use your money to create a better world
Many banks and super funds invest in fossil fuel industries, like coal mines. Consider investing your money in renewable energy with Australian Ethical and Bank Australia.

3. Cut down your meat intake
One of the biggest impacts you can have on the planet is limiting your meat intake because of the emissions produced in raising and producing meat for our plates. Animals Australia have some handy tips for reducing your meat intake.

4. Simple switches in the home
We produce a huge amount of emissions in the home. But some simple switches can make your home less emissions-intensive! 1 Million Women provides some great tips.

5. Change the way you move
Given that fossil fuels have such a big impact on our climate cutting down how much you rely on your car or (dare we say) flying, will have a huge impact on your personal emissions. Car Next Door offers some great tips on how to cut back on those car trips we all rely on and offset your emissions.

There are many more solutions to reducing our emissions. Paul Hawken’s research Project Drawdown highlights the most effective actions we can take. From educating girls, using forests to sequester carbon and empower Indigenous people’s land management, there are some inspiring and completely actionable examples of ways, bigger than ourselves, that we can get involved in to make a difference.

So join us on this journey as we live a 1.5-degree life.

We’ve collaborated with some great organisations to bring these actions together: 1 Million Women, Animals Australia, Car Next Door, Planet Ark and Powershop.

Australian Ethical acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the country on which we work, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, and recognise and celebrate their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and thank them for protecting Country since time immemorial.