The world is currently set to miss the Paris Agreement by a disastrous margin, with temperature rise this century expected in excess of 3°C.
Whilst regular people aren't to blame for the climate crisis (we're looking at you Exxon) it's clear it's up to us to stand up for what we know is right. We have all the solutions we need - it's only political will that's missing.
The time for change is now.
We're navigating the route to a better future.
We're fighting to protect people and communities in Australia and around the world, and future generations, from worsening climate impacts.
We're working to protect the wild outdoor places, ecosystems, environments and biodiversity that we cherish as well as our beloved outdoor endeavours, lifestyles and work.
Outdoors people don't just sit around when a storm blows in.
The antidote to despair is action.
21 Bold Climate
Goals for 2021
We've suggested 21 actions that you can take during 2021 to make a difference.
These actions range from participating in climate activism, engaging with our politicians, reducing our personal carbon and ecological footprints, using our money for good and inspiring those around us.
Tick off the actions as you complete them throughout the year. You could stick this list on your fridge, a corkboard or wherever you'll see it.
Alternatively, access our edit friendly version here so you can change some of the goals or edit them to best suit you - for example maybe you'd like to attend 3 rallies and you've already divested.
Scroll down this page to find tons of tips, tricks, links and resources to help you complete all 21 actions and get the most out of each one!
Consider bookmarking or saving this page so you can return later.
Goal setting is a powerful way to ratchet up our performance. Even when we care deeply about the climate crisis it can be hard to know where to start.
We hope this resource will help you feel proud by the end of this pivotal year for the climate, knowing that you took crucial leadership when the world needed it the most.
Getting active in the climate movement allows us to learn about the issue, support and work with the people making a difference, pressure companies and governments to take positive action, stop and delay destructive projects, raise awareness, engage others and grow much needed support for climate action.
1. Subscribe to the email list of a group you find inspiring to best stay engaged with the movement.
Find many climate, related issue, environmental or conservation groups on our Groups page here. Find even more groups on the Climate4Change website here. We also highly recommend signing up to the Climate Council email list.
2. Attend a training, talk or meeting. Learn a useful activism skill, hear from an expert or connect with others.
Keep an eye on our Linktree for upcoming talks, trainings and meetings. Find virtual climate events on eventbrite here and in person events around Australia here. Groups that host fantastic talks include Climate Council and Citizens Climate Lobby.
3. Participate in a rally or action. This might be a working-bee, front-line action, or protest.
Keep an eye on our Linktree for upcoming rallies and actions. Subscribe to the email lists of and get involved with groups in your area that host actions and rallies to stay in the loop. Groups that host lots of actions include: Extinction Rebellion, GetUp!, 350.org, and the Bob Brown Foundation.
4. Volunteer or take action regularly. Connect with a group to take action often or volunteer.
This doesn't need to be a huge commitment! You can take online action from home. Search for groups that are active in your local area or state/territory. Find a list of Australia-wide groups on our Groups page. Find even more groups on the Climate for Change website.
Find a list of our favourite places to learn about climate change and action here. Learning about climate change is no longer boring with a plethora of attractive and readable reports, thought-provoking books, websites, articles, videos, documentaries and podcasts available!
Carbon emissions must fall to two tonnes of CO2 per person by 2050 to avoid severe global warming, but in Australia emissions are currently 16 tonnes per person. So whilst government action is essential, individuals can have a huge impact and often quite easily.
6. Measure your footprint. Make sure to record the results and track your progress.
There are lots of footprint calculators available but we like this ecological footprint calculator here by Global Footprint Network.
7. Eat greener. Eat more plant-based, buy local and organic or grow some of your own.
Becoming vegan (or if not then eating more plant-based) is one of the biggest impacts we can have to lower our 'food footprint'. The climate impact of plant-based foods is typically 10 to 50 times smaller than that of animal products. See an in-depth explainer by CarbonBrief here. We can further reduce our food impact by eating local, organic and unprocessed foods.
8. Travel lighter. Avoid flights, carpool, use public and active transport or buy an electric vehicle.
Kilometer for kilometer, flying is the most damaging way to travel for the climate. Its been estimated that on average living car free will save 2.4 tonnes of CO2 a year whilst avoiding one return transatlantic flight will save 1.6 tonnes. Avoiding flights is a relatively easy way to have a huge impact, whilst limiting our driving related emissions also makes a big difference. If you'd like to go 'flight free' in 2021 you can add your name to Flight Free Australia's pledge here.
9. Buy or install green electricity. Enhance this action by saving energy at home.
Option 1: Install solar - find a guide to household solar systems here. Option 2: Switch to and buy renewable power from a electricity company that's greener overall - check out this Green Electricity Guide here.
Option 3: Buy green electricity from your existing energy supplier (find out which power companies offer what here).
Option 4: Get involved with a community energy project - search for community energy projects in your state or local area.
10. Reduce waste. Find ways to avoid plastic, tackle food waste or buy less or 2nd hand.
Globally, in 2018 charities with an environmental focus attracted less than 3% of all donations. Since pledging to support the Paris agreement in 2015, Australia's big four banks have together loaned $35.5 billion to the dirty coal, oil and gas industry. Let's use our money for good.
11. Divest your bank. Swap your bank account to a bank that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels.
Check out our Divestment page here to find all the instructions, resources and links you'll need to find a bank that doesn't invest in fossil fuels and learn how to make the switch.
12. Divest your super. Likewise, swap to a superannuation fund that doesn’t invest in coal, oil and gas.
Check out our Divestment page here to find all the instructions, resources and links you'll need to find a super that doesn't invest in fossil fuels and learn how to make the switch.
13. Donate towards activism. Give (regularly if possible) to a climate or environmental group.
No matter how much, every bit helps! By donating to an organisation or group, you can help them to fight for climate wins. For example, giving to the Bob Brown Foundation can help in their efforts to end native forest logging in Australia or giving to the Environmental Defenders Office can help their lawyers take fossil fuel companies to court. Check out our groups page here to find Australian climate and environmental groups and organisations you might want to donate to.
14. Give to fund climate solutions. To drawdown carbon, avoid emissions and/or accelerate solutions.
Giving money to the right project can directly mitigate CO2 emissions by employing climate solutions like renewable energy, or capture CO2, for example by planting trees. Many of these projects also have additional benefits for people, the environment and biodiversity. Two organisations we love are Trees for the Future, who plant trees whilst helping to provide long-term access to food and income to impoverished farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, and Eden Reforestation Projects who plant trees whilst reducing extreme poverty by providing employment to local villagers.
Australia was ranked lowest in climate policy out of all 57 nations included in the Climate Change Performance Index 2020 and Australia still doesn't have a net-zero target (unlike more than 110 other nations). Strong and bold leadership from our governments is essential in tackling the climate crisis - citizens must demand climate action.
15. Write to your federal MP to call for climate action on a federal level.
For everything you need to know, check out the Climate Council's 'How to Write an Effective Letter to Your MP' here.
16. Write to your state MP about climate change and what you’d like to see happen in your state.
As above, use the Climate Council's letter writing guide as a resource, here. Make your 'ask' (request for action) relevant to your state or territory. States are in charge of public transport, delivering clean
energy projects, state climate laws and targets, forests and much more! Find your state MP and their contact information on your state/territory parliament website.
18. Write a submission for a public consultation, for example to oppose a fossil fuel development.
Many opportunities come up throughout the year to write a submission and make a difference for the climate. Check out this list of current national and state/territory specific public consultations on the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) website. A number of major environmental organisation like Wilderness Society, Australian Conservation Society and EDO will keep you posted and provide toolkits for important submissions, so be sure to sign up to one of their email lists. Also, sign up to an email list for a major environmental group in your state/territory (eg. Act On Climate for Victoria or Nature NSW).
18. Have more conversations with the people in your life about the climate crisis and climate action.
Check out this guide by the Climate Council for some tips and tricks on how to have effective climate conversations with friends and family. If you'd like to host a Climate Conversation in your home or virtually with 8-12 of your friends of family, Climate for Change can send a trained facilitator - find more information here.
19. Employ a climate solution at your workplace or institution. That might be offsetting, composting or sourcing renewable electricity.
Can influence your company, organisation or institution to conserve energy, buy or install green electricity, divest, reduce employee transport, reduce and better manage waste, or buy more sustainable products? Can you be a role-model to those around you where you work or study? Can you provide feedback to your company, organisation or institution?
20. Switch to a company that’s doing better for the climate. Consider how your internet provider, insurance, or coffee brand compares to others.
To find a more sustainable company look for objective rankings, relevant certifications, awards, praise or criticisms. Investigate criteria like: use of renewable energy, carbon-neutrality (or net-zero goals), materials used, or other environmental commitments. Are they a B Corp or a not-for-profit?
To compare ethics (including environmental) of a wide range of products including food check out the Shop Ethical Guide. See which major Australian companies are leading and lagging with renewable energy on Greenpeace's Reenergize rankings. View Market Force's ranking table to see if your general insurance or health insurance funds fossil fuels.
21. Once you've taken a climate action, help someone else. You could bring a friend or family member to a rally, show them how to divest, or support them in writing to their MP.
Some climate actions can be intimidating, so it's a huge help once you've got the know-how to then support your friends and family to take action too. Invite them along to an event or walk them through a process and answer their questions. From there it will just keep spreading - climate action is contagious!
Enjoy the adventure!
We hope this list of 21 climate actions for 2021 will help in your climate action journey! We would love to hear what you think. Also, we'd be over the moon to know how you go with your goals! You can get in touch here.