The Growing Challenge of Climate Change

By Catarina Dantas

Above all, we must set the example: by fostering energy transitions, investing in sustainable cities, and promoting global awareness. The key to a sustainable future lies in our hands.

Climate change is no longer a scientific hypothesis, a problem for a distant future. It has recently proven to be a generation-defining challenge, a clear and present threat to our collective survival. 

Last summer, record temperatures caused wildfires to burn vast natural reserves on the Western Coast of the United States. The amount of carbon dioxide thrown in the atmosphere was superior to the UK’s entire power sector’s annual emissions. 

Around the same time, a severe drought made the Pantanal wetlands in Brazil an easy target for a deadly combination of human-made and natural wildfires. The loss of biodiversity in one of the world’s top wildlife sanctuaries was genuinely heartbreaking. The images of desperate jaguars cornered by the burning vegetation were a metaphor of our condition in the face of anthropogenic climate change.

Super-storms in the South Atlantic, giant hurricanes in the Gulf, melting ice-caps in the Arctic: the evidence of the damage we are causing to our planet is overwhelming. And yet, many individuals, corporations, and governments either deny the problem or refuse to act with the necessary vigor. 

We cannot stand idle. We must move now: by electing committed leaders, fighting obscurantism, and supporting international environmental cooperation under the Paris Agreement. Above all, we must set the example: by fostering energy transitions, investing in sustainable cities, and promoting global awareness. The key to a sustainable future lies in our hands.