2 September, 2022
The article, which focuses mostly on individuals’ carbon footprints, argues that a fixation on voluntary action to reduce one’s carbon footprint distracts from the need for serious policy measures to tackle the climate crisis. Far from being the solution to climate change, the FT argues that emphasis on individual action only furthers the feelings of powerlessness or ‘eco-anxiety’ that many young people suffer from.
It’s an important point, and one we’d build on by pointing out the other issue with voluntary climate action: that it can also provoke an opposite, but no less dangerous, perception that individual actions are all that’s needed to solve climate change. We believe wholeheartedly that individual engagement in climate action is critical to building the momentum we need for a societal transformation. But we need to walk a fine line between not becoming overwhelmed by the task ahead of us while also recognising that we need to move even further even faster.
And it’s true that this movement can’t be driven by individual action alone. Which is why we’re celebrating Sizzle, a new venture from long-time friend of Good Business Trewin Restorick. Having already founded award-winning environmental organisation Hubbub, which focuses on encouraging individual sustainability actions across the UK, through Sizzle Trewin is turning his attentions to driving the systems change needed to make greener choices easier for everyone. By bringing together stakeholders from across society, Sizzle will work on changing the way products and services are delivered, creating transformative change at speed.
We’ll be watching with interest to see what Sizzle comes up with. But in the meantime, we won’t be giving up on oat-milk lattes and meat-free Mondays as a way to move the climate agenda forward. And above all, we’ll be staying positive that climate change is a crisis we can solve together.
By Louise Podmore