Kate Williams is the CEO of 1% for the Planet. Kathleen Rogers is the president of EARTHDAY.ORG.
“Our world needs climate action on all fronts — everything, everywhere, all at once,” Secretary-General António Guterres said as he introduced the latest report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The report, called a “survival guide for humanity” by Guterres, documents the 1.1 degrees Celsius rise in global temperatures since the start of the industrial age and warns that global warming could top threshold levels of 1.5 degrees Celsius in the next decade.
It does not mince words. The panel’s report spells out actions governments and policymakers need to take now to prevent the most catastrophic impacts of our climate emergency.
But what about the rest of us? What can individuals and businesses do? And how do we judge our governments’ investments?
As two women who lead global environmental organizations, mobilizing “everyone, everywhere, all at once” is what we do. 1% for the Planet helps businesses around the globe contribute at least 1% of their annual revenue to environmental causes, facilitating more than $450 million in funding to environmental organizations since its launch in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews of Blue Ribbon Flies. EARTHDAY.ORG is a year-round policy and activist organization in more than 190 countries that galvanizes over 1 billion people to action every Earth Day. This year’s Earth Day theme is “Invest in Our Planet.”
So how to invest in our planet?
From our vantage point, it is critical — and doable — to take collective action now and invest in our planet and our future. If you are rationally optimistic about human ingenuity, you may believe that climate change could provide the best opportunity in human history to reinvent everything and to create prosperity and equality for all.
Not sure where to start? Here are ways to invest in the future of our planet:
With these collective actions, we can change course and secure a future that is not clouded by uncertainty, devastation and winners and losers. No government, person, corporation can do it alone, but together, we can build a healthy prosperous future for everyone.