Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Climate Change

Would you change your lifestyle to save the planet? Opinion polling suggests Europeans broadly support action against climate change, even if it means changes to their daily lives. Citizens are – according to some research – willing to accept measures such as increased taxes on air travel, or higher prices for food whose production involves significant greenhouse gas emissions. Europeans also favour restrictions on car use in city centres, and lower speed limits to help reduce air pollution.

Nevertheless, the gilet jaune protests in France (in response to a new carbon tax on diesel fuel) show how popular anger can flare up if environmental policies are seen as unjustly impacting ordinary life. Will people need to change their lifestyles to help tackle climate change? Or could technology (such as electric vehicles, smart grids, biofuels and other innovations) allow us to transition to a sustainable future without requiring significant changes to our way of life?

Want to learn more about how lifestyle changes might help tackle climate change? Check out our infographic below (click for a bigger version):

Lifestyle Changes

What do our readers think? First up, we had a comment from Claudia arguing that the methane emissions from cows’ digesting systems have a big impact on the climate. So, should people give up meat to help save the planet?

To get a response, we put Claudia’s comment to Wendel Trio, Director of the Climate Action Network Europe, to see what he would say:

For another perspective, we also put the same comment to Jan Panek, Head of Unit (Consumer Policy) at the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers of the EU Commission. How would he respond?

Next up, Michael says: “I got rid of my car (and I love them, and motor bikes). The nearest village to me with decent shops? About 12 k. I’m fitter, slimmer and smarter – more oxygen to the brain. By the way, I’m 75.” Will more people need to follow Michael’s example and give up their cars to help tackle climate change?

We put Michael’s comment to Alain Mathuren, Communication Director at FuelsEurope. Here’s what he had to say:

What would Wendel Trio from the Climate Action Network Europe say to Michael?

Finally, Yannick sent us in a comment saying: “If we choose to fly we should at the very minimum offset the emissions (pay for a carbon reduction somewhere else). I have done so for more than 10 years. The thing is, a single flight anywhere will blow anyone’s carbon budget.” Is he right?

How would Jan Panek from the European Commission respond to Yannick’s comment?

Here’s what Alain Mathuren from FuelsEurope had to say in response to the same comment:

Last but not least, here’s the response from Wendel Trio, Director of the Climate Action Network Europe:

Are big lifestyle changes the only way to save the planet? Should people give up meat to help tackle climate change? Should stop flying, or give up our cars? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

Image Credits: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
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10 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Miguel

    The real question that should be asked here is when will technology be controlled to not harm us or our planet.

  2. avatar
    Chris

    Tell China and India, I don’t think they got grettas “how dare you” email

    • avatar
      Chris

      Tristan, I am a very green person myself, I don’t eat meat and care for the environment. I don’t however subscribe to the gretta NWO of socialism by the green back door. If someone can give me sensible and thought out measures then great but taxing people more won’t do anything but make a few industrialists better off. This is no different to any other industrial revolution. Sold as for the people while enriching a few at the top

    • avatar
      Chris

      Tristan, will give it a watch later cheers

    • avatar
      Jan-Marten Spit

      “China is responsible for my own actions”.

      Sincerely yours,
      Dodger Lame.

  3. avatar
    Jan-Marten Spit

    The fossil revolution simply dove into a local optimum that did turn out to be slightly less optimal then anyone could have imagined. Now we need to move to a better optimum, but to do that, we need to penetrate a political energy barrier that has solidified into vested interest for a century.

    Historically, mankind has rarely been able to do that without a triggering disaster we use evolution as a strategy – bump our heads first.

    I doubt we can rise to the occasion, but i personally try regardless.

  4. avatar
    Francesco de Buzzaccarini

    No lifestyle changes are needed because there is no need to “save the planet”. There are no DATA proving that climate change will be catastrophic, only projections or models (thus opinions, not data). The DATA say that over the past decades deaths due to climate-related catastrophies have DROPPED sharply and that the world socio-economical PROGRESS continues (apart for the Covid issue of course), in spite of the fact that global warming is well underway (already close to 1C warming versus pre-industrial time). Instead of looking at opinion polls (which only feed back the ignorance and the fears of the people) you should educate people and help them to look at the reality in a critical way . For instance you should read this: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040162520304157?fbclid=IwAR2oI6aFw2HU6GHwTVZYJTVmrNRE-HuIMXRb4miE1F4THZVXXoWjYAsJM2o

  5. avatar
    Miguel

    The biggest climate problems is with the frequencies that are thrown in the air, CO2 is just a distraction.

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