Of course you would; in fact, you probably have in the past 18 months. But this global emergency is not a pandemic, it’s a contagion of another – much more devastating – sort: climate change.
Runaway bushfires in Australia, the United States, Turkey and Argentina; devastating hurricanes in North and Central America; heat waves hitting record highs; the collapse of the last intact ice shelf in the Arctic; the loss of 70% of the Earth’s animal populations in 50 years – do we need to list more?
Scientists and activists are warning, ever louder, that the threat of climate change is no longer tomorrow’s problem. It’s today’s, and if we don’t act right now, we will pass the tipping point where it will no longer be possible to fix our planet.
Climate 360 is a high-profile, two-day virtual conference hosted by #TeamEurope*, taking place on 18 and 19 November 2021, to drive awareness of the climate change emergency; celebrate sustainable, climate-smart organisations and initiatives; and inspire urgent action.
Through Climate 360, we will:
- Showcase pioneers in the climate change space, their solutions and innovations.
- Celebrate progress and future-focused thinking.
- Provide a platform for thought leadership and new, emerging climate change voices.
- Run a competition to identify, highlight and award South African champions in the climate change space.
If you are – or your organisation, NGO, social enterprise, trade union or youth group is – working towards making a real contribution to mitigating climate change, Team Europe invites you to enter the Climate 360 competition – or nominate another champion you know – and be part of the solution.
The Climate 360 competition has five categories:
- A just transition: from an extractive to a regenerative economy.
- Biodiversity: addressing species loss.
- Sustainable energy: towards sustainable energy solutions.
- Pathways to a circular economy: advancing sustainability.
- Climate change adaptation: finding strategies to adapt.
If you’re shortlisted, you will be invited to showcase your climate solutions and innovations in short presentations to our judges at the Climate 360 conference. Winners in each category will win prizes, and finalists and winners will be profiled in a special Climate 360 conference publication to be produced after the event.
Finding solutions together
But Climate 360 is more than just a two-day online conference. It is a platform for concerned citizens, NGOs, SMMEs, corporates, trade unions and youth groups to come together to share their experiences, swop expertise, and showcase how their innovations and collaborations are turning climate change into climate action.
Team Europe and Climate 360 support the Paris Agreement’s goals. Through participation and partnership, we can help achieve its objectives, create awareness and urgency around the global climate emergency, and put pressure on decision-makers to act through policy and bilateral action.
Through Climate 360, we are partnering with organisations that share our values and have strong climate change policies, to showcase the ways communities, businesses and individuals are adapting, innovating and collaborating as we address the climate crisis together.
Changing our perspectives
We know what we must do, and we’ve even agreed to do it. The Paris Agreement, adopted six years ago, binds us to keep the rise in mean global temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and preferably limit the increase to 1.5°C, as this would substantially reduce the impact of climate change. It also commits us to reducing emissions as soon as possible, reaching net zero by the middle of this century.
So far we’re falling woefully short of these critical targets. But if living in a pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that in order to succeed in the struggle against climate change, we need to change our perspectives around these key points:
- Firstly, climate change is urgent. It’s happening right now, not decades into the future.
- Secondly, climate change has far-reaching impacts. It will fundamentally change the way we live, work and move
- And thirdly, climate change is everyone’s responsibility to address. This is a global call to action, not a policy statement, and none of us is a helpless bystander.
The Climate 360 initiative aims to do precisely that: change our perspectives around climate change, involve us all in driving positive climate impacts – and, importantly, reward South African climate change champions.
The big question is thus: do you want to be part of a generation that talks about the weather – or part of a movement that acts to reverse climate change?
To find out more about Climate 360, and how you can win prizes and recognition for your climate change mitigation actions, visit the Climate 360 website. DM/OBP
* Climate 360 is a high-profile, two-day virtual conference hosted by the EU delegation to South Africa, taking a Team Europe approach to drive awareness of the climate change emergency; celebrate sustainable, climate-smart organisations and initiatives; and inspire urgent action. This event has been organised with the financial support of the European Union’s Partnership Instrument and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) in the context of the International Climate Initiative (IKI).