The UN Youth of Finland was established fifty years ago in 1967. To celebrate this, we are publishing blog posts concerning each one of the Sustainable Development Goals. This blog post focuses on goal number 13, which emphasizes the importance of combating climate change and its impacts. Emilia Eräpolku from Finnish Model United Nations discusses how we must take a holistic approach to tackle climate change.
Most people already know what climate change means, why it is happening and what devastating effects it will have in our lives and the lives of the future generations. Or at least I hope most people know by now.
It is also more and more common to make choices based on the effect they will have on our environment. And that’s great.
However, sometimes it feels like the focus is only on one of the three players affecting climate change. Either it’s the responsibility of consumers to make sustainable choices, the job of the government to mitigate climate change impacts, or then it’s the companies who should clean up the mess they have created with their practices. Or then the focus is on all three but as completely separate entities.
And while to many of us it is clear that all of these actors need to take responsibility, the way we as humans are part of all the three can be easily forgotten. We are not only consumers, but we also work somewhere, most likely in a company, and we have the right to vote for the kind of government we want.
As humans, our responsibility is not only to buy Härkis instead of minced meat. We as humans form the business, we form the government. And the fact is, for a real change we all need to take action not only in our private lives but also at work and at the election booth. It should not be forgotten.
The key idea is this: you don’t have to do everything perfectly, we are just humans after all, but what you need to do is to demand more sustainable practices as a voter a consumer as well as an employee. In the end, the responsibility is yours.
Text: Emilia Eräpolku