On Black Friday people all over the world are cashing in on the best deals on everything from fashion to electronics – even cars. Last year people spent £1.49 billion on Black Friday deals in Britain alone, showing that the impulse to hit the sales and browse the rails is strong.
While sizing up those awesome half-price trainers, it’s easy to forget that we only have 10 years to prevent irreversible climate damage. Amid this climate emergency it’s not these retail deals we need – but political deals containing real mandates for action to protect our environment.
Here are five great deals to support the planet this Black Friday.
1. The Paris Agreement
The Paris Agreement is a landmark deal made in 2015 between 196 nations to create a sustainable low-carbon future. It seeks to prevent the world from warming more than 1.5C above pre-industrial average temperatures, which is needed to prevent irreversible damage from climate change.
On 28 December it’ll be four years since it was signed. Experts are warning that attempts to meet the target are inadequate. The UN experts warn that we need to cut emissions by 7.6% every year until 2030 to stand a chance of keeping warming below 1.5C. This is very hard, meaning we have got to get going now – and keep going for at least a decade to stop the world’s climate changing dangerously.
Not meeting this target means sea levels rise, increasing natural disasters and collapsing ecosystems, making this one of the most important deals for the planet this Black Friday.
2. A great green deal for Britain’s communities
For the UK to keep its side of the Paris Agreement, the government needs to invest in its communities to help prevent future climate impacts.
Fossil fuels need to be phased out as quickly as possible and renewable energy needs to be tripled by 2030. Homes need to be adapted to become carbon zero which includes insulation for all homes. New petrol and diesel cars and vans needs to be phased out by 2030 and more money needs to be spent on improving public transport. Restoring nature is needed to boost carbon storage and protect our precious natural landscapes and wildlife.
Not only is this a great deal for nature, it’s a great deal for people too. Cleaner air, warmer homes, and green jobs will improve people’s lives and provide great value for money for the next government.
3. UK law to reduce plastic waste
It’s not only a better deal on carbon emissions we need this Black Friday, but also on plastic pollution. The government recently published its environment bill, which dictates future environmental policies within the UK upon the departure from the EU. This bill includes the measures the government will take to tackle the plastic problem.
So far the bill includes implementing a deposit return scheme on plastic bottles and introducing charges to corporations that contribute to the plastic problem. However, these changes are not enough, especially as the government has given itself until 2037 to meet any kind of target. The minimum deal that we realistically need to be fighting for is a 50% reduction in plastic production by 2025.
4. A strong Global Oceans Treaty
Currently only 1% of the world’s oceans are protected, meaning that they are at risk from huge threats such as deep sea mining and over-fishing. Our oceans help to regulate the climate by absorbing and storing carbon. Without proper protection, vital ecosystems are under serious threat.
A Global Oceans Treaty will ensure 30% of the world’s oceans are protected from threats such as these by 2030. If the deal is struck in 2020, it will create a planet-wide network of ocean sanctuaries, ensuring that interconnected wildlife hotspots, migration corridors and critical ecosystems are protected from harmful industries.
5. Cooperation through trade deals
Climate change is a global challenge that has to be fought by all nations working together. International trade deals and treaties, if done right, can really help to set standards for a greener future – and allow governments to be held to account if they are not keeping their side of the bargain.
All countries have differing resources and needs and it is important that globally we do not allow nations, peoples, or wildlife to be degraded or exploited. Globally we have a responsibility to ensure that we’re not contributing to the decline of the orangutan population, and that our food is not coming from deforested parts of the Amazon.