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.
FOOD CHALLENGE: COOKING UP CLIMATE-CONSCIOUS CREATIONS
As part of the campaign, people around the world will be engaged to make their individual contribution to sustainable food consumption. The challenge: cooking up dishes that are not only delicious but also good for the planet and good for us– reducing meat and emphasizing diverse vegetarian ingredients instead. Leading chefs will spearhead the challenge and provide inspiration by presenting their own creations which will be featured on the United Nations’ global platforms and kick off a global wave of culinary creativity as people share their favorite recipes and photos. A compilation of select recipes from all continents for inclusion in the UN Climate Action Cook Book will be explored.
Food – a key to curbing climate change
What we eat has major implications for climate change. The destruction of rainforests to create land for agriculture, along with growing demand for meat, are major contributors to the increasing greenhouse gases which are taking a significant toll on climate and global food security. To top it off, we waste about one-third of the food that is produced. But more people are taking a closer look at what they are eating and the impacts of their diets on their health and on the environment. More and more chefs and other food suppliers are focusing on local and organic produce and shifting away from meat-heavy meals and fast food. They are joined by a growing movement of people changing the way they cook and eat. The UN’s ActNow campaign aims to inspire even more people to enjoy sustainable, climate-conscious and delicious food.
Breaking new ground on the defining issue of our time
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 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 Food Challenge directly relates to Goal 13 on Climate Action it also touches on others, such as Goal 2 on Zero Hunger. 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.