Rodriguez says the country is going even further; they’ve announced a goal to be carbon neutral by 2050, an effort which will include a bus fleet that is 70% electric by 2035 and cutting the number of cars used in cities in half by 2040. The key has been having a large-scale, organised effort – but one supported and understood by hundreds of smaller groups and communities.
At a larger scale, the Paris Agreement and the EU’s 2050 carbon neutrality plan play a similar role, creating a common climate change action framework for countries, cities, towns and the private sector. “The EU’s 2050 carbon neutral plan is what’s needed at the global level to generate enough momentum, awareness and action, more importantly, it sets an example that can be matched and replicated by others,” says Patricia Zurita, CEO of BirdLife International, a global partnership of bird conservation organisations.
Above all, the most helpful trait we’ve evolved to have is our ability to innovate. In the past, we used this skill to discover fire, invent the wheel or plant the first fields. Today, it may look more like solar panels, wind farms, electric vehicles and carbon pricing. Along with innovation, we’ve evolved to have the communication and technology to pass these innovations on, allowing a single idea or invention to spread far beyond our own family or town.
From mental time travel to cooperative social behavior to our abilities to innovate, teach and learn, all of these evolutionary consequences always have helped us secure our own survival, and they will continue to do so – albeit in the face of a very different threat than we had in our hunter-gatherer days.
We have evolved to be able to stop human-induced climate change. Now we must act.
Dr Matthew Wilburn King is an international consultant and conservationist based in Boulder, Colorado and the president and chairman of the COMMON Foundation. Connect with him on Facebook or LinkedIn.
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