New research based on evidence from the University of Leeds suggests it’s not just governments and business that can make a difference with climate change as it asks people to make ‘The Jump’.
The research, The Power of People, sought to find out whether individuals and communities could help tackle climate change or whether a difference could be made by government and industry.
The research was requested by The JUMP, undertaken by Arup, overseen by C40 Cities, and based on evidence kindly provided by the University of Leeds.
This is the first time this impact has been quantified and shows ‘citizens are not powerless’.
The JUMP is a grassroots environmental organisation working to ‘inspire and empower’ people and communities to act on climate change. Specifically, to ‘take The JUMP’, by trying six ‘shifts’ to protect the planet.
These six ‘shifts’, the research suggests, will enable individuals and communities to help tackle climate change.
- End clutter: Keep electronic products and home appliances for at least seven years
- Holiday local: One flight every three years
- Eat green: A plant-based diet, healthy portions, no waste
- Dress retro: Three new items of clothing per year
- Travel fresh: If you can, no personal vehicles
- Change the system: At least one life shift to nudge the system, like moving to a green energy company or a green pension supplier.
The JUMP was launched to help build a community of citizens supporting each other to make these shifts, providing the tools and support to help along the way.
The research found the responsibility to tackle climate change primarily falls to governments and industry. It says, however, that ‘citizen and community action is meaningful, impactful, and urgently needed’.
The research found that citizens have primary influence over 25-27% of the emissions savings needed by 2030 to avoid what The JUMP calls ‘ecological meltdown’.
It says this is the first time this impact has been quantified and shows ‘citizens are not powerless’.
The research also suggests that it is not up to citizens to ‘save the world’ on their own, government and business still have the largest responsibility, up to 73-75% of the emissions savings needed by 2030.
Efforts by citizens and communities are particularly important between now and 2030, ‘the most important decade for climate action’
The 25-27% is actually a minimum for the influence of citizens, it says, since citizens can also have in-direct impact on the remaining 73-75% through ‘influencing industry and government’.
Due to their capacity for quick action, efforts by citizens and communities are particularly important between now and 2030, ‘the most important decade for climate action’, The JUMP says.
For the changes led by citizens and communities, it is ‘higher income groups’ that must take faster and bigger action, the campaign group says.
“Action by lower-income need only influence 9% of savings”, it says.