The world's climate scientists are telling us that the planet doesn't have the luxury to wait for governments to "maybe" or "someday" mandate the lifestyle changes scientists believe need to happen. The time is now for people to wake up from their daily routines and take personal action by making the necessary changes in their lifestyle and purchases that experts are saying must occur. A transition away from a fossil fuel driven economy is one of those steps and thankfully individuals now have a choice to drastically reduce their own carbon footprint through a single decision of making the next car they buy an electric one.
With the anticipation of a new generation of 300km+ (200 mile) range electric vehicles in 2017 in a price range comparable to mass produced gas vehicles, it will now be easier than ever for the average middle-class consumer to make the leap to the new paradigm of zero emission personal transportation. To help individuals take this step, The 2° Institute is asking people to take the Electric Car Pledge: that when they are ready to shop for their next vehicle, that next vehicle they buy will be an electric one. The 2° Institute's Electric Car Pledge Campaign aims to garner one million pledges by the end of 2017 and ten million by 2020. Visit the Electric Pledge website.
We could use your help!
If you believe in what we are trying to do, please help by volunteering or making a one-time donation here. Your money will go towards funding a social media based electric car awareness ad campaign that maximizes ROI by targeting people living in parts of North America with a low-carbon electricity grid. We are also in need of enthusiastic volunteers to be part of our Disinformation Task Force: volunteers charged to politely respond with factual references to social media and other article comment threads that inaccurately dismiss the benefits of electric cars.
The historic Paris Climate Conference of December 2015 resulted in 197 countries resolving to limit the planet's average global temperature increase to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels to avoid a critical threshold above which the planet could experience irreversible catastrophic impacts. To achieve this, governments and citizens in these countries will each need to do their part to reduce their own carbon footprint in order to keep the temperature increase below 2°C.
One very important achievement that came out of this conference is a renewed feeling of hope. Hope is a powerful catalyst for creating a genuine willingness to try. Hope (and compassion) are needed if we are going to succeed at this great human challenge.
The 2° Institute mission is to develop and support strategies that empower people to make the behavioural and lifestyle changes needed to keep our planet from warming by 2 degrees Celsius.
Instead of laying blame externally and calling on government and industry to change their ways (which some other NGO's already do very well), our focus is to direct people to look inwards at their own contribution to global warming. The average North American's carbon footprint is roughly 5 times the global average so there is a clear opportunity to see drastic reductions on global emissions just by focusing on North Americans. Their average carbon footprint consists of greenhouse gas emissions from the following categories: Travel, Home Energy, Food and Goods/Services. The 2° Institute's first campaign focuses on Travel, the largest of the 4 categories.
Our aim is to offer a clear and achievable roadmap for individuals to drastically reducing their carbon footprint and become part of the solution.
Headquartered on the west coast of British Columbia, the 2° Institute is a new face for the Clean Air Society of the Sunshine Coast. The organization has worked tirelessly for the past 14 years to educate the public on the science and repercussions of black carbon and other forms of air pollution on human health and the environment.
Climate Data for the Public
The 2° Institute offers interactive real-time climate graphs to aid educators, researchers and the general public in better understanding greenhouse gas levels and the role they play in climate change. These interactive graphs can be freely embedded on any website. Visit ClimateLevels.org, CO2Levels.org or TemperatureRecord.org.
The actions we take everyday, whether that is driving to work, eating breakfast, or watching TV, all contributes to our overall personal carbon footprint. Thankfully, we have control over our own impact on climate change and the first step to becoming part of the solution is to understand what aspects of our lifestyle emit greenhouse gas emissions and how much.
This pie chart breaks down an average North American's carbon footprint by category and how much greenhouse gases are emitted from each type of activity. Since this is an average, depending on where you live and your present lifestyle, your piechart will look different. But as you can see, fuel consumption from driving a vehicle (4.6 tons CO2e) and energy used to power a home (Electricity 2.97 tons + Natural Gas 1.08 tons CO2e) represent 45% of an average North American's greenhouse gas emissions. Simply by switching to an electric car and ensuring all the energy that is powering your home comes from renewables will have almost halved North America's carbon footprint!