It doesn’t come as a surprise that the richer you are the more energy you use. And with the increasing amount of energy you use, the larger your carbon footprint becomes. Rich people are partially the reason for climate change and at the same time the most capable to solve climate change. Saving the planet from climate change doesn’t require them to change much of their current lifestyle either. Indeed, they can continue living a life of luxury while reducing their carbon footprint. Of course, they would have to change a few aspects of their life. But it’ll benefit them and others greatly. That said, here are four things the rich can do to save the planet from climate change.
1. Make use of renewable energy
Not everyone can afford renewable energy. Renewable energy, although cost-effective in the long run, is costly upfront. And not all people are willing to pay big sums of money upfront even if it’ll save them a lot of money in the future. Some people just can’t afford to wait. More affluent people, on the other hand, can.
Something as simple as using residential solar panels or commercial solar panels for their businesses can reduce their carbon footprint by a ton. That’s 1.3 to 1.6 tons of carbon per year to be exact. Purchasing electric cars instead of gas cars would also reduce your carbon footprint. Switching to renewable energy is a great idea because not only will you reduce your carbon footprint, but you also end up saving more money as well.
2. Divest from fossil fuels
You’ve heard of investing, but have you ever tried divesting? DivestInvest is a campaign several organizations and rich individuals have pledged to. It is a commitment to divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate change solutions instead. In case you weren’t already informed, fossil fuel companies are one of the world’s leading causes of climate change. Plenty of people have invested in fossil fuel before. But now that we are seeing the damage it is doing to our planet. More and more people are divesting from fossil fuels and rightfully so.
Eighty-nine percent of global CO2 emissions back in 2018 came from fossil fuel industries alone. The globe’s temperature has risen by 1C, anything above 1.5C will be deadly. 0.3C of that 1C comes from burning fossil fuels. As an investor, you have the choice to pick what you invest in and what you don’t. If you’re still investing in fossil fuels, you better divest from it and invest in something better for our planet.
3. Fund climate solutions
Just as we said before, as an investor you get to choose what you invest in. So why not invest in climate change solutions? There are several climate solutions to choose from. There’s funding for climate research, forest restorations, renewable energy, and sustainable agriculture. The Green Climate Fund is one of the largest funds dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and save us from climate change. It was created in 2010 by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
As of today, they have reached over 4.9 billion dollars in funds and have avoided over 1.2 billion tons of CO2 emissions. Their goal is to reach 7.3 billion dollars. The 4.9 billion dollars has funded over 159 projects across the world. From Liberia to Indonesia, to Mongolia, and other cities and countries. They are working in places that need the most help. We may not feel climate change as bad in the United States. But countries in the developing world such as these, are feeling the most devastating effects of climate change. And there is nothing much they can do about it, unlike those with money.
4. Speak out about climate change
People with money are often people in power. They are influential people, so why not use this influence to help solve climate change? Speak out about climate change, be a good role model to others, and practice what you preach.
The rich are the ones with the largest carbon footprints. But they are also the ones with the greatest ability to change that. They are the ones with the most money and power to make a difference. So if you have the means to make a difference, that not only affects you but the entire world. Take the opportunity. The poor are too busy trying to survive today to even think about what climate change will do to them in the future. But if you’re privileged enough to not have to worry about surviving for today. You should do something to change everyone’s future for the better.