The United Nations 2019 Climate Gap Emissions Report laid bare the stark reality of the climate crisis. 27 years after the Kyoto Protocol that committed nations to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, GHG emissions have actually increased. 2019 represented a critical milestone in the global climate crisis—it marked the hottest year on record in the northern hemisphere. There were numerous reports of climate refugees escaping from drought and floods, along with unprecedented fires in the Amazon, Congo, California and Australia.
The 100 companies responsible for 71% of carbon emissions since 1988 exert enormous pressure on governments, in the U.S. and around the globe, to favor fossil fuel extractive policies, and delay the move towards renewable power and decarbonizing our economy. The United Nations estimates that to stabilize the global climate, countries need to triple the commitment they made at the Paris Climate Agreement. The enormity and urgency of the climate crisis requires decisive, robust, and durable action by both businesses and governments.
Individual actions are important too, and can make a difference in the aggregate—which is why we should all commit to eating more plant-based meals and food produced through regenerative organic agricultural practices, purchasing organic and fair trade products, driving electric vs. gas guzzling cars (or even better using public transportation and for those able, riding bicycles)—generally living as simply and ecologically as we can. It is why we must also engage in the political realm, and work to reshape the economic and political system to aggressively tackle climate change. As fast as possible, we must move our energy, transportation, and other industrial sectors to clean renewable energy, and stop industrial farming of crops and factory farming of animals that is ripping ecosystems apart and contributing huge amounts of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere.
The climate crisis is the biggest environmental and social crisis of our time and will require bold, ambitious, and globally impactful policies enacted at the highest and broadest levels. This is why Dr. Bronner’s supports the Green New Deal (GND). The GND draws its inspiration from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal,” a series of policies and programs enacted over a 10-year period that aimed to address harsh inequities and rapidly increasing poverty. The New Deal rapidly created programs that stabilized vulnerable populations and provided a launchpad to prosperity, propelling the United States out of the Great Depression.
The Green New Deal is an ambitious vision to address climate change and inequality and has five main goals:
- Achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers.
- Create millions of good, high wage jobs; and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States.
- Invest in the infrastructure and industry of the United States to sustainably meet the challenges of the 21st century.
- Secure clean air and water, climate and community resilience, healthy food, access to nature, and a sustainable environment for all.
- Promote justice and equity for all communities, especially those who have faced historical oppression and discrimination.
The worsening ecological crisis we face is a generational opportunity to remake the world we live in. The inspiration for the GND predates current presidential candidates and is not limited to one political party or personality. The GND is more than a limited set of policies to reform and soften an inherently extractive and inequitable system. It is an invitation to join a growing global movement that addresses the root causes of climate change and social inequality.
Dr. Bronner’s has pioneered regenerative practices throughout its supply chain, from the farmgate to packaging. Through our commitments to regenerative organic agriculture, renewable energy, animal rights, fair pay & fair trade, and psychedelic therapy, Dr. Bronner’s seeks to embody and inspire the change we want to see in the world. But we’re just one relatively small company: the GND embodies Dr. Bronner’s vision and values in a policy process that can be transformational for hundreds of millions even billions of people.
The United Nations 2019 Climate Gap Emissions Report is clear: we have 10 years to take action. Climate change and social inequality are already impacting our communities at home and abroad in catastrophic ways. The time has come to create a new system that responds to humanity and the planet’s needs. Dr. Bronner’s calls on our peers in the natural products industry, our customers, and our activist allies to support the Green New Deal. For we’re All-One or None!