With the sheer size of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions it can feel like there isn’t anything you can do about it. Modern society and everything in it is built around fossil fuels, which seems like a colossal thing to take on. The problem is fixable however – with enough people making a difference, there still is a way. We’re optimistic. There are thousands of ways you can help, it is almost overwhelming. Like most articles on this blog, this is another isolated area you can help with: using politics to solve climate change. It can actually be one of the most effective things you can do.
Who are climate-friendly politicians?
Some of the most effective solutions for climate change require action from a political body rather than something you can do yourself. Research has shown that policies such as carbon taxes and funding for renewable energy sources can have a very big impact on our emissions. These kinds of decisions are made by our representatives in local, state and national government. We need them to make these decisions, and because of that we need the right politicians who are going to make them.
One of the difficult things is knowing which politicians are going to help these causes and which ones aren’t. A lot of the time people are voting for parties with policies they don’t actually agree on. Usually you can read their manifestos (a list of a politician’s intentions) to see where they stand on various issues. Doing so is a very worthwhile endeavor.
Another great way of finding out information is by simply asking them! Examples of questions you can ask them are:
Do you accept that climate change is occurring?
What policies would you implement to help our transition to a carbon-neutral society within the next few decades?
If they have a serious plan for how to reduce our carbon emissions to zero, then in our opinion we can consider them climate-friendly politicians. We should try to support these parties.
Helping climate-friendly politicians
Voting for politicians who take the climate seriously is a great thing you can do. They need every vote they can get. Not only that, but you can support these politicians in a number of other ways – you could encourage people to vote for them, volunteer for their campaigns or you could donate to them if you have spare money. Recently we became members of a political party which allows us to vote on the direction of the party. Anything that will help them get more votes is a good thing for the environment. These politicians can make decisions that could make an impact much bigger than we can individually. You could even run for a government position yourself!
Communicating with climate-unfriendly politicians
The unfortunate reality is that no matter how much we try to support climate-friendly politicians, they might not always win. If this happens, not all hope is lost. Letting our representatives know your opinions will make them realize that there is an increasing demand for climate policies. With regular elections in most countries, this could make them aware that they will have to act more if they want to win future elections. How can you communicate with them? You can consider the following ideas:
Attend town halls and other gatherings so that you can share your opinions in public.
Of course stating your political opinions publicly and in person can be quite daunting. Luckily, they often have the option to call them or send them a letter. You can use this as an opportunity to share your thoughts on what they should be doing.
A healthy democracy gives people the ability to express their political opinions to their leaders and allows citizens to use their voting power to sway policies. Hopefully this post has given you some ideas about how you can get more involved in order to try and lead your country in a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly direction. We can use politics to solve climate change.