Decarbonisation is great, but is not the only thing to do. Maybe even in some cases, not the primary thing to do. Africa is the most vulnerable continent on the planet. As that piece of information nudges us towards climate resilience through the application of adaptive features, it must especially be applied in aid of those persons living in rural areas where adaptive capacity is most wanting. Rural Africa is in need of, and could use, a collective leapfrog event. Though this may be wishful thinking on my part, it would be the ultimate climate fight. We have the intent well-articulated in the #parisagreement (for resilience refer to SDG 2, SDG 6, SDG 7) and so, there is much to do. Case in point, the well-designed eco-taxes, if enforced, could be a great resource for resilience in developing countries #IMF click to tweet.
How we spend such resources would be ‘defining’; here, I’m not making reference to corruption or other mal-administrative practices, but to the leapfrogging event. On one hand, African countries could pull resources together to become developed, taking the same path to development that developed countries have taken. Let’s call this developed (contemporary). On the other hand, we could extrapolate a desired ‘developed-country’ future state, that’s inclusive of the developed (contemporary) but is also green and sustainable, for Africa. We are in the best position to make this trajectory.
Are you authentic in your concern for the planet? Because it means going beyond your profession. That is because, for climate change, the fix (if any) must be interrogated wholesomely. Therefore, more alternatives for saving the planet lie in our lifestyles, more than they do in our job descriptions click to tweet.
In your day to day life, address the biases that inhabit our existence. You support the installation of green buildings, use of electric cars and alternative fuels. So why not veganism? It purports to put less pressure on the planet. #Future50Foods.
When it comes to our plates, ‘…getting too personal little girl !!!’ So, if referring to veganism as ‘alternative food sources’ changes people’s perceptions, then I suggest we pull our weight behind it, as one of the viable options we have, to fight climate change. If that’s still too grueling a thought, let the flexitarian diet (also semi-vegetarian) come to your rescue.
We should be able to talk about our food sources, as well as the alarmingly high rate of land sales and land conversion towards built space (I am a construction manager, and I have not found a way to be okay with this), amongst other things. Evidently, there is room for improvement, #muchtodo.
On our way to authenticity, we should all know that, to judge each other is hypocritical. ‘We are all human; therefore, nothing human can be alien to us,’ Maya Angelou. Pointing fingers at others, shaming others because we have adapted to the logs in our eyes, is at best, uncouth. I imagine this is what Russell Brand was trying to explain in his video about climate hypocrites. You don’t have to agree with everything he says, but walk away with some ‘truth’.
Therefore, it is alright to be vegan for a while, and then, fall back on meat and dairy. You will already have done much good for the planet, that many do not dare.
To do nothing, is tantamount to #climatedenial. You cannot stop the sweltering sun, but you can get an air-conditioner to improve your productivity, so get it. Does it have negative GHG effects? YES. But maybe you could offset these by driving a tesla, or something closer to home #nopia. You could also install clean renewable energy in your home to further neutralize the harm done. More objectivity less posturing.
We have different lifestyles, and we also have different carbon generation faculties. If we all dedicated ourselves to offsetting our lifestyle carbon emissions in present times (and going forward), we would have one problem to solve, GHG emissions from the past; that terrorise our today and future. In a practical sense, we are well far from this realisation.
In your business, due to the definite impact your business operations have on the environment (referring to its ecological footprint), embark on a carbon neutral and ecoefficient strategy to tame your footprint. Consequently, enable this throughout your business. As the business grows, you will find that, you will get better at staying on the good side of the climate fight click to tweet.
Together, we could discover synergies and possibilities of innovation that suit Africa. That is because, solving Africa-specific challenges, would provide an opportunity for reverse engineering, thus utilizing resources already existing in Africa click to tweet. For example, using blockchain technology to secure carbon and waste neutral supply chains in our industries. As we learn, and as we grow, the truth that there is much to do, will remain a contant reality, until it is not.
Stella Nyambura Mbau PhD
Founder & CEO LOABOWA