26.04.2022 -

What is a Climate Shadow and What Does it Mean?

The discussion surrounding climate issues is heating up with every newly published report and an unpleasant future potentially awaits. Rising temperatures are a growing concern but one can mitigate the situation by actions linked to a climate shadow.

Actions always speak louder than words. Making promises for a better future and researching information about climate problems is positive, but there’s also the part of actually doing something substantial for the cause. 

Pointless climate jargon or an actual solution to a global problem? 

The term “climate shadow” was popularized by well-known climate journalist Emma Pattee, who came up with the concept. The term carries more significance than one might think. Popular words like carbon footprint and carbon-neutral are well-known around the world. Again, this is immensely helpful in the fight against climate issues because being aware of one’s self carbon footprint and understanding it causes statistical change. 

Statistics and measurements provide useful data upon which to base decisions on, this goes without saying. However, leading by example is the thought process behind a climate shadow. 

Spreading the message

Person holding a red sign demanding climate action at a protestA climate shadow is not based on exact numbers but more so on the actions themselves, hence the word “shadow” that we leave behind. Raising awareness and spreading the message through actions that leave behind a positive and helpful climate shadow is key. 

Activism has changed a lot for the better in terms of informing about climate change, but a climate shadow covers a broader range of actions. 

Making a change

Supporting important climate causes and informing others about them is essential but one can do more. For example, choosing a line of work that helps the environment, raising awareness at work and encouraging sustainability, or even encouraging to get people to try new environmentally friendly foods, ways of transport, clothes, and so forth. 

The options and various courses of action are there for anyone. 

Climate shadow or carbon footprint?

Regardless of what kind of climate-positive action is taking place, it’s all equally important in the grand scheme of things. Yet the distinction between climate shadow and carbon footprint is clear. 

A carbon footprint is more about measuring individual carbon emissions after individual actions. A climate shadow relates to all major actions that can’t be measured precisely but impact and influence people in a climate-positive way. 

Wondering about your climate shadow? Stay tuned for our next blog post about different ways to leave behind an effective climate shadow. 

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