“Together we can get everyone out of energy poverty and make sure that our children will live on a healed planet.”
This is how I concluded my application as a European Climate Ambassador. I am convinced that overcoming climate change can only happen with the people, whatever their backgrounds and personal circumstances. From school strikes to famous chefs, we all have our part to play.
The appointment by the European Commission is an immense pride, but I certainly acknowledge the responsibility. The European Union is now asking me and all the other ambassadors to inspire and demonstrate that the green transition is all of us.
The Green ideal
We, European citizens and citizens of the world, have the power to influence the ongoing transition. The way we produce and consume our food and experience our lives will be at the heart of fighting climate change and achieving the transition to a climate-neutral society. Part of this change will take place through our individual behaviours and consumption habits, part of it will take place through concrete actions of the business. A lot will come from the level of ambition of our elected representatives. Not everyone has the same level of resilience, let alone the (financial) means to effect change. This is why the transition must be designed in a fair and inclusive way, fill the gaps and repair the injustices, rather than exacerbating them. While no one is perfect, we can always nudge, lead by example and do our part.
The virtuous equation of sustainability is still far from systematic. It requires efforts in terms of individual and collective habits and behaviour (buying less, recycle…), but also regulations from public authorities (for example, biding energy certification or labels), efforts on the part of companies (in terms of the supply chain, the shipping and production methods, respect for human rights and the environment, etc.), and efforts from the banking system.
I don’t (yet) know of any business that reaches all the expectations on this mind map or is perfectly transparent about all of them. This means that it is up to us to choose which elements we need to give up. What is most urgent? What is the most acceptable? The global warming clock reminds us that we must act quickly, and act together. This is why we all need to commit to the European Climate Pact.
What’s the European Climate Pact?
In December 2019 the Communication on the European Green Deal set up the goals of the Climate Pact. As the European Commission Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans said: “The European Climate Pact will bring together everyone who wants to take action for our planet“. The Pact invites everyone, from schools to industries, unions to local communities, to collectively brainstorm to tackle environmental degradation and climate change. Together, we will develop and implement big and small climate solutions and practical advice, at different levels. An online platform will foster the debates.
Who are the ambassadors?
The call to become an ambassador is ongoing: all people and organisations can apply and unlock their communities in climate action.
The Climate Pact encourages climate action pledges by individuals or collectives, helping to mobilise support and participation.
What am I committing to do?
As a young mother living in one of the most polluted city in Europe, and in my professional capacity as an energy consumer expert, I have noticed that people are not aware of the simple actions they can implement to do reduce their environmental footprint. For instance, in their domestic energy, many people don’t know that they can easily switch to a “green” supplier, or that they can gain in comfort and quality by being more energy efficient. I want to make simple tools accessible to everyone.