Does Personal Action Matter?
8 minute read
Updated on: 14 Dec 2020
How important are the actions of one individual in a world of more than 7.7 billion people? Can our individual actions to reduce our carbon footprint really make a difference on a global scale? In this chapter, we will explore how much our personal actions matter in the global fight against climate change.
Who is to blame for emissions?
73% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from energy (electricity, fuels, heating, etc.), which is mostly produced by fossil fuel companies. Indeed, around 85% of our energy comes from the burning of fossil fuels .
However, energy production is driven by consumer demand as it is required to supply the goods and services that we rely on. Therefore, we also must bear some of the responsibility for emissions from energy production.
For many emissions sources, there are currently no practical alternatives. For example, there is currently no practical way to fuel aeroplanes or ships without fossil fuels. Some companies have been exploring alternatives like algae-based biofuels for many years . However, until these sustainable alternatives can be made cheaper than fossil fuels, through cheaper production methods or government subsidies, it is unlikely that they will be widely adopted by consumers.