Since global warming affects — well — the globe, reducing CO2 emissions to control this effect should be a global event, which brings us to International Reducing CO2 Emissions Day, held on January 28 each year. Since CO2 is such a big contributor to climate change, this event intends to change the way countries around the world operate. Over time, this day seeks to aid the world’s transition to a cleaner environment.
History of International Reducing CO2 Emissions Day
Did you know that since ancient times, people have suspected that the climate could change drastically? Aristotle’s pupil, Theophrastus, once wrote about lands becoming more susceptible to freezing after the marshes there had been drained. He thought lands became warmer when trees were cut because then the sun could reach the earth.
A 1088 book by the Chinese scholar and statesman, Shen Kuo, theorized that climate change could occur over time because the author found ancient bamboo fossils buried under cold, arid land when bamboos typically grow in warmer, wetter regions.
Over the centuries, people saw urbanization create obvious climate changes — rainfall patterns changed, the weather fluctuated, and even natural calamities rise. However, no one, not even scientists, believed that humans could influence the planet’s climate.
By the 19th century, however, the world suspected the existence of the ice ages and other natural climate changes. Around the same century, we identified the greenhouse gas effect, and the world realized how much emissions can really affect the climate. By the 1990s, multiple research streams had formed to study climate change, emissions, and their effect on the planet.
But how on Earth did we arrive at such a state that the release of every little bit of energy needs to be scrutinized for its potential impact on the planet? After all, carbon dioxide has been present since the Earth was formed. The answer is simple. As scientists began to study the emissions humans created, they realized one thing — more humans equal more emissions. And the more emissions we put out into the world, the more we negatively affect our planet. Economic growth, industrialization, and other growth factors saw emissions climb at an unprecedented rate. After 1950, the world shifted. Countries saw fortunes rise, and many of these emerging economies also added to the global emissions.
Climate change research after the 1990s has made a significant contribution to the global response to climate change, to the point that we now know exactly what to do to mitigate the worst effects. The aim is to raise public awareness to the point where governments will support anti-emission measures.
International Reducing CO2 Emissions Day timeline
Data shows, globally, CO2 emitted is 150 times higher than emissions in 1850; the developed and developing worlds both contribute to this cause, with the top five countries being China, the United States, India, Russia, and Japan.
On December 12, 196 countries officially adopt a legally binding treaty in Paris, to collectively limit global warming.
Climate activist Thunberg makes a double-crossing of the Atlantic Ocean to attend two climate conferences; she chooses sailing in place of flying as it has the smallest carbon footprint.
On January 28, General Motors announces they will phase out all gasoline and diesel-powered passenger cars, increasing their production of electric cars; other major vehicle companies — like Ford and Volvo — follow suit with similar promises.
International Reducing CO2 Emissions Day FAQs
What is being done to reduce CO2 emissions?
Globally, industries and governments are introducing multiple measures to control emissions. They include switching to fuel-efficient practices, using renewable energy, recycling, and more.
What period did the Earth experience the lowest CO2 emission?
The lowest CO2 emissions were present around 500 million years ago (at around 4,000 parts per million) and then during a period in the last two million years (when the levels dropped to around 180 parts per million).
Who was the first person that discovered global warming?
James E. Hansen, an American adjunct professor, is credited with talking about and subsequently raising broad awareness of global warming.
How to Observe International Reducing CO2 Emissions Day
Learn about CO2 emissions
Find out how they are caused and why they are labeled as harmful. Share what you learn with friends and family.
Study ways to reduce your emissions
Check out resources online and offline. Figure out simple ways to reduce your CO2 emissions.
Spread the word about this day
It takes a village — in our case, an entire planet. You can start with your immediate community. Share your knowledge of CO2 and its effects and induct more people into the climate change cause.
5 Interesting Ways To Reduce Your CO2 Emissions
Keep your tires inflated
Lower tire pressure means they work harder to take you places, waste gas, and increase emissions.
Be vocal about local
Supporting the local economy and buying goods that didn't fly a few miles to get to you is a great (and healthy) way to reduce emissions.
Paint your roof white
You reflect more sunlight this way; your home is cooler, and you use less electricity on a hot day.
Wash clothes in cold water
Doing a full load of laundry in cold water means you are using less energy for heating and are reducing your carbon footprint.
Recycle and repurpose
Instead of throwing things away, try out fun DIY upcycling projects for regular household items; you can also try giving them away or donating them to the needy instead of consigning them to a landfill.
Why International Reducing CO2 Emissions Day is Important
We recognize our impact on the planet
Humans are significant, and this is never more evident than when we consider the consequences of our actions on the planet.
We receive a nudge to action
Our home needs us, and this is our chance to make a difference. We have the power to reduce emissions, and in doing so, impact our planet's future.
We can influence others
Here's one more day that we can use to encourage others to join our cause. We need everyone to actively work towards lowering CO2 emissions, and International Reducing CO2 Emissions Day is a great way to begin.
International Reducing CO2 Emissions Day dates