GLOBAL CALL ON CLIMATE ACTION
ActNow is the United Nations’ global call to individual action on climate change. The campaign is a critical part of the UN’s coordinated effort to raise awareness, ambition, and action for climate change and accelerate implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The goal of ActNow is to educate and encourage individual behavioral change, mainly by adjusting consumption patterns. The decisions we make in our daily lives affect our planet. By changing our habits and routines and making choices that have less harmful effects on the environment, we have the power to confront the climate challenge.
FASHION CHALLENGE: UPCYCLING FOR NEW LOOKS
As part of the campaign, people around the world will be engaged to make their individual contribution to sustainable fashion. The challenge: upcycling old clothes for new looks.
Fashion – a key to curbing climate change
Making clothes has a huge impact on climate change. The textile industry contributes around ten percent of global greenhouse gas emissions—it uses more energy than the aviation and shipping industry combined, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The industry’s impact is not limited to global carbon emissions. It also produces about 20 percent of global waste water and 85 percent of textiles end up in landfills or are incinerated when most of these materials could be reused.
In the lead up to the Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit in September 2019, the fashion industry has recognized that it has a crucial role to play in contributing to the realization of the goals of the Paris Agreement. In December 2018, 43 major brands and suppliers signed the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action under the auspices of the United Nations. The goal: net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Other initiatives in the industry are pulling in the same direction. This goes hand-in-hand with consumers' increased awareness of the choices and contributions they can make when they decide to Act Now.
ActNow.bot: Beyond online “clicktivism”
ActNow uses advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to spur these behavior changes. The ActNow.bot, which is currently being piloted on Facebook Messenger, is an interactive tool that recommends everyday actions to reduce our carbon footprint - like driving less, buying local and seasonal produce, taking 5-minute showers, and eating less meat. The campaign breaks new ground not only through the use of interactive technology but also in pushing beyond online “clicktivism” to trigger concrete change.
Generating momentum and changing consumption patterns
Every climate action we take matters. The more people act, the bigger the impact. All the actions that we take, collectively, will add up and will reduce emissions. And it will send a message to leaders, in government and business, that people want climate action, and are willing to take it. The collective actions will be presented at the Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit in New York in September 2019.
In 2015, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals which together form a comprehensive blueprint for the future of people and our planet. While the ActNow Fashion Challenge directly relates to Goal 13 on Climate Action it also touches on others, such as Goal 12 on Responsible Consumption and Production. In 2016, the Paris Agreement on climate change entered into force, addressing the need to limit the rise of global temperatures to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
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