This week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that we have until 2030 to limit the effects of climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming. Warming greater than 1.5 C will lead to global catastrophe by extinction of several species, drought, heat waves and food shortages that will disproportionately impact those in poverty. Since beginning college, I have read more and more articles detailing the negative impacts of climate change and more importantly highlighting its urgency. 12 years for radical change in carbon emissions, renewable energy, plastic use and more does not lead for a lot of time. For this reason, I choose to pursue the issue of climate injustice for the rest of the semester. In particular, I aim to think about how can we make urban spaces more environmentally friendly for the Earth and its residents. My current musing on this project is that environmentalism as a topic has been strictly correlated to conservation of wildlife — which is still important but limiting in the scope of what needs to be done about climate change — and limited racially and financially to white middle to upper class citizens. Climate change has fully become everyone’s problem when talking about environmentalism and also hasn’t become accessible to everyone. Low-income urban resident face food deserts which prevent engaging in healthier eating choices that reduce individual carbon footprints but also will lead to a healthier lifestyle. Similarly, toxins from airplanes, buses and trains create poor breathing environments and change soil content that community gardens to combat food deserts become difficult. The increased warming in urban environment due to glass skyscrapers are also out of the residents control. For this semester, I want to focus on engaging communities, creating coalition spaces, on the issue of climate change, brainstorm and create with them solutions and hopefully promote environmentalism as a topic for everyone. While I am focusing on the individual level, this is not to forget that 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions and as such the blame of climate change does not heavily lie on the individual but recognizing that in the process of bringing environmentalism to the individual level can still create healthier lifestyles for those being denied and could potentially lead to collective group effort to influence these 100 companies of reducing emissions.
As such, I am creating a influence map to highlight who are the stakeholders and how do they interact as I begin delving into this topic. The image should appear below. I highlighted the overall, 5 major players in this situation and what impacts I think they might have and onto who.