If everyone in the world lived as we do in the UK, we would need three planets to support us. Our planet is buckling under the weight of the demands we are making on it. Over-consumption is leading directly to climate change and species extinctions.
We are already spoiling some of the world’s richest forests, degrading soil and sources of fresh water faster than ever before. Most climate scientists agree that if we continue to live this way and allow global temperatures to rise by more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the risk of severe and irreversible changes in the Earth’s natural systems becomes increasingly likely.
Nobody gets up in the morning and decides to contribute to climate change, to help cut down a tropical rainforest or to deprive people in other parts of the world of a decent standard of living. But our apparently innocent daily decisions all too often have these invisible consequences. These are some of the hidden costs of ‘three-planet living’ for all of us in the UK.
WWF works for a world where everyone thrives within their fair share of the Earth’s resources while leaving space for wilderness and wildlife. Their One Planet Future Campaign aims to bring people together to make changes in our lives, moving us from a three-planet lifestyle closer to a one planet future.
The One Planet Future campaign is about inspiring individuals, businesses and governments to play their role in reducing our environmental impact. You can find out more by visiting www.wwf.org.uk/oneplanetfuture.
Just as obesity is best overcome by adopting a nutritious, varied, tasty diet and a healthier lifestyle, so too our global over-consumption will be solved by moving to different – but better, healthier and happier – ways of living.
The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs is a Member of WWF. Over the next few months we will be featuring changes suggested by WWF you can make to move towards a One Planet Future. Some of the changes will be easy, others more difficult. Some require just waking up in the morning and deciding to do it, others will involve adding your voice to tens of thousands of others to demand that governments introduce policies and encourage businesses to ensure that their products and practice allow us to lead better-quality lives.
We have been born into a decisive period in human history. The choices we make today will make a world of difference to the people and species that will share this planet’s future.