August 18, 2021

Dire Climate Report is a Call to Action. What Individuals Can Do to Make a Difference

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

The underlying message of the recent report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was nearly unanimous: time is running out to make changes to avoid the worst impacts from human-induced climate change.

In the wake of the report, the talk of action largely focused on massive, societal shifts that need to be implemented at the global, national or state levels, not from changes in individual behavior. But the USA TODAY Network interviewed experts who said there is plenty that individuals can do to feel they're making a difference. 

"When we see a report like the IPCC report, it’s incredibly sobering because it does seem like such a huge problem," said Kate Konschnik, director of the Nicholas Institute's Climate and Energy Program. "But even though it can feel disempowering and be hard to wrap our minds around, there are steps people can take."