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What can you do to mitigate climate change, by Larissa Basso ' 05/07/2016

( Política Internacional

)

0

When climate change is the subject, mitigation is usually

considered

to

be

responsibility

of

governments. International cooperation is seen as the best way forward in order to achieve results in a global scale, and people observe results from

Lançamento do

international conferences as indicators of success

livro “Teoria das

or failure in dealing with the problem. Yet, even if

Relações

climate change does depend on governmental

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Page 1 of 8

What can you do to mitigate climate change, by Larissa Basso – Revista Mundorama

8/26/16, 16:45

Internacionais –

action to be tackled, it also depends on individual

O mapa do

daily decisions that can be changed and promote

caminho:

different results that will matter to climate change

estudo e

mitigation to a substantial extent. This is called

prática”, de

reducing one’s carbon footprint, or reducing the

Cristina Soreanu

amount of emissions that result from individual

Pecequilo

choices in different activities.

Unifesp abre concurso para Professor de RI

There are numerous ways to reduce one’s carbon footprint: basically, any change in daily choices that sustain less carbon emissions in a period of

Os desafios do

time, preferably for good, is valid. Some decisions,

Reino Unido no

however, have broader impact than others, due to

contexto de

the weight of emissions resulting from some

saída da União

activities in total emissions. Climate change is a

Europeia, por

global issue; but due to countries’ emissions

Bruno Theodoro

different profiles, changing specific activities will

Luciano

have also broader local impacts, in addition to

Fórum Social Mundial: um ator construtivista no cenário internacional, por Murilo Chaves Vilarinho Global warming in the Courts:

promoting climate change mitigation. Brazilian emissions profile has changed in recent decades. Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) have long been the main source of carbon

emissions

in

Brazil,

mainly

due

to

deforestation. Between 1990 and 2012, share of LULUCF emissions in total Brazilian emissions was reduced (Observatório do Clima, 2014). The main reason was successful tackling of deforestation in the second half of the 2000s, due to legal and institutional changes: levels went down from

fighting inertia

around 27,000km2/year to 7,500km2/year, later

and pushing

stabilizing around 5,000km2/year (Viola and Basso,

action, by

2014; Viola and Basso, 2015). The relevance of

Larissa Basso

Brazilian emissions from agriculture, livestock

FUNAG promove palestra de James G.

farming and energy systems became clearer. And updated the importance of individual decisions in climate change mitigation: they might have lower impact in deforestation than they have in food or energy

systems,

due

to

the

http://www.mundorama.net/2016/07/05/what-can-you-do-to-mitigate-climate-change-by-larissa-basso/

more

indirect Page 2 of 8

What can you do to mitigate climate change, by Larissa Basso – Revista Mundorama

8/26/16, 16:45

Hershberg

connection with the first compared to the more

sobre a crise

direct connection with the latter.

dos mísseis soviéticos em

Diets have great impact in carbon emissions. Food

Cuba

systems answer for between 19 and 29% total

UFG realiza Seminário “O Brasil e a crise dos mísseis”

global emissions (Vermeulen et al, 2012). Some general rules are always valid: diets rich in processed food produce more emissions than diets rich in raw food, because food processing is highly intense in resources (water, energy, etc.);

Groundwater

animal products diets – meat and dairy especially,

international

due to the emissions resulting from the digestive

cooperation in

process of ruminants – result in more emissions

South America,

than vegetarian or vegan diets. Feed production

by Pilar Carolina

and

Villar

emissions of the sector, and enteric fermentation

FUNAG publica “Varnhagen (1816-1878) – Diplomacia e Pensamento Estratégico”

processing

answers

for

45%

of

total

of ruminants, for 39% (FAO, 2013). Reducing beef intake can decrease carbon emissions sharply: while

high

meat

7.19kgCO2e/day,

eaters

low

4.67kgCO2e/day,

produce

around

eaters

produce

meat

vegetarians

produce

3.81kgCO2e/day and vegans 2.89 kgCO2e/day (Scarborough et al, 2014). Organic and seasonal

Concepts, ideas

farming reduce the use of fertilizers in agricultural

and

production, contributing extensively to climate

methodologies

change mitigation. Opting for local crops reduce

in the

emissions from food transportation (Weber and

interpretation of

Matthews, 2008).

Latin American international relations, by Raúl Bernal-

Energy systems have the greatest impact in global carbon emissions. In this sector, emissions could be

broadly

divided

in

two:

electricity

and

Meza

transport. In many countries, such as Brazil,

Revista

amounts and sources, is concentrated in the

Mundorama – No. 107 – Julho/2016

decision regarding electricity production, including hands of the government. We do have different sources supplying electricity, participating in the bids promoted by the government, but the consumer

cannot

choose

from

http://www.mundorama.net/2016/07/05/what-can-you-do-to-mitigate-climate-change-by-larissa-basso/

which

their Page 3 of 8

What can you do to mitigate climate change, by Larissa Basso – Revista Mundorama

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Negociações

electricity will come from [1]. And distribution is

Comerciais do

also concentrated in few providers. In other

Brasil com a

places,

União Europeia:

distribution, this option might be given: in

uma opção

California, for example, consumers can choose

bilateral?, por

between providers that mix different electricity

Patrícia Nasser

sources, some of them offering 100% renewable

de Carvalho,

electricity to consumers. Even if choosing the

Fernanda

source of electricity is not always possible,

Gonçalves e

reducing the amount of electricity consumed is

Caíque Gomes.

always at hand: opting for efficient appliances,

Uma nova carta no grande jogo pelo controle do Mar do Sul da China: a decisão arbitral do caso Filipinas v. China, por Cristine Koehler Zanella

were

competition

exists

in

power

designing buildings to make good use of natural light, calibrating heating and cooling, taking shorter showers are always great options to reduce electricity demand. In the case of transport, driving less is key. Using public transportation and/or cycling have the greatest impact on carbon emissions, as well as in urban congestions and the concentration of carbon monoxide and particulate matter, greatest sources of urban pollution that causes health

FUNAG lança

problems and deaths of thousands of people

“Pensamiento

every year. If driving is mandatory, carpooling –

Diplomático

sharing your ride with other people – is a good

Brasileño –

alternative. Other options that are becoming more

Formuladores y

common are flexible office hours and home office,

Agentes de la

which allow employees to optimize and even

Política Exterior”

reduce their commuting.

RBPI 1/2016:

These are only some examples, a lot more can be

publicado novo lote de artigos RBPI – Vol. 59 –

done. Refusing unnecessary consumption, such as luxury goods or disposable packaging, as well as recycling and reusing items whenever possible are

No. 1/2016

great practices. Reducing business trips and

China e Brasil –

have a substantial impact on emissions. At the

Olimpíadas de um mundo de

opting for videoconferences reduce flying and end,

the

key

message

that

needs

to

be

understood is that a transition to a low carbon

http://www.mundorama.net/2016/07/05/what-can-you-do-to-mitigate-climate-change-by-larissa-basso/

Page 4 of 8

What can you do to mitigate climate change, by Larissa Basso – Revista Mundorama

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“desordem sob

reality is not only about international agreements

os céus” para a

and national commitments. It is about changing

desordem em

one’s daily living, making different choices that are

frente ao mar,

in tandem with this new reality. Climate change is

por Paulo

the pivotal issue in this beginning of the 21st

Antônio Pereira

Century.

Pinto

challenging, but it does not need to be a synonym

Liberté e Egalité demandam Fraternité, por Carlos Frederico Gama

Changing

daily

habits

might

be

of sacrifice. Instead, it should be seen as an adaptation to a fuller planet, in which resources need to be divided more equality between more people. Benefits will be great, not only to human (and other species) perpetuation, but also to our evolution.

Conjuntura Austral – Vol. 7 –

[1] It is different in the case of free consumers,

No. 36 – 2016

created by law nr. 9648 of 1998, which can choose their power provider. Residential consumers, however, do not qualify as free consumers. References: Food and Agriculture Organization (2013): Tackling climate

change

assessment

through

of

livestock

emissions

opportunities.



a

and

global

mitigation

Available

at:

, access 27 Jun 2016. Observatório do Clima (2014): Análise da evolução das

emissões

documento

de

GEE

no

síntese.

Brasil,

1990-2012,

Available

at

, access 27 Jun 2016. Scarborough,

Peter

et

al

(2014):

‘Dietary

greenhouse gas emissions of meat-eaters, fisheaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK’. Climatic change, v. 125, p. 179-192.

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Page 5 of 8

What can you do to mitigate climate change, by Larissa Basso – Revista Mundorama

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Vermeulen, Sonja et al (2012): ‘Climate change and food systems’. Annual Review of Environmental Resources, v. 37, p. 195-222. Viola,

Eduardo

‘Amazonian

and

policy

Basso, and

Larissa

politics,

(2014): 2003-13:

deforestation, hydropower and biofuels’. NOREF Report.

Available

at

, access 27 Jun 2016. Viola, Eduardo and Basso, Larissa (2015): ‘Brazilian Energy-Climate Policy and Politics towards Low Carbon Development’. Global Society, v. 29, issue 3, p. 427-446. Weber, Christopher and Matthews, H. Scott (2008): ‘Food miles and the relative climate impacts of food choices in the United States’. Environmental Science & Technology, v. 42, p. 3508-3513.

Larissa Basso is a PhD Candidate at the Institute

of

International

Relations

of

University of Brasília and member of the International System at the Anthropocene and Climate Change Research Network ([email protected]).

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