New CWR Report! Together We Can: 8 Habit changes for below 2°C

by China Water Risk 16 March, 2022

16 March, 2022 – CWR releases a new report, Together We Can: 8 Habit changes for below 2ºC that shows how we as individuals and we as a group can help cut carbon emissions with only small changes to our lifestyles. If enough of us made simple habit tweaks across eight areas of our daily life from food, online shopping to internet surfing plus more, we could save more than two billion tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This is equivalent to the combined 2015 GHG emissions of Japan and South Korea!

Without cutting enough emissions on time, we are heading towards a 2°C – 3.7°C warmer world by 2100 and with it, an onslaught of worsening climate impacts. Water is how “feel” most climate impacts and to reduce water risks, we must also rein in emissions. So, while this is not a typical water & climate risk report from CWR, we felt that we must do this to help people save both water and emissions.

In an ideal world governments, companies and investors would be leading the charge but they aren’t. UN secretary-general António Guterres described the latest Sixth Assessment IPCC report released in February 2022 as “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership”.

Many of us want to do something about climate change but don’t know where to start or feel disempowered as our actions are insignificant. The IPCC is calling for transformative changes in our economies, cities, energy and food systems as well as consumerism and lifestyles – these, at the most basic level are our actions, which we can do something about.

With this report you can find out how to take action and that “the power of one is strong, the power of a group is even stronger. And as the report urges, “we can all make a positive impact towards the survival of this wonderful and beautiful planet we call home”. Although by no means exhaustive, there is something for everyone to do in this guide, which aims to inspire but not prescribe habit changes.

Did you know that 9 kg – 21 kg of GHG emissions can be saved if just one individual from either the US, the EU or China cuts their social media activity by one hour a day for a year? This might not sound like a lot, but the energy saved can charge a smartphone about 1,100 to 2,700 times.

Since social media is a daily activity for more than half the world’s population, if we did this collectively GHG savings could be significant. Based on surveys the report estimates that collective action from the US, EU and China could amount to 37 MtCO2e, equivalent to Cambodia’s 2015 GHG emissions. And that’s just collective savings from one less hour on social media per day; imagine if made more changes.

The habit changes were selected because of their significant impact and despite using the latest scientific data, multiple assumptions had to be made as many data gaps persistsaid Dawn McGregor of CWR and lead author of the report. But data gaps shouldn’t hold us back from action in this eleventh hour of climate change. Time is running short, but it has not run out. Together we can.

Access the report here, individual actions below and press release here or contact us.