A Perth environmental engineer says climate change requires collaboration on all levels to address a global problem.
“The bottom line is that we can’t expect to live a prosperous, happy and healthy future on a degraded planet.” says Julia Ward, who works in carbon offset projects and has a passion for sustainable energy and women in leadership,.
She is heading to Antarctica in November as part of an international team of aspiring women leaders who work in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths for climate action.
Ms Ward thinks everyone can do their bit to ensure the sustainability of the planet by eating less meat, catching public transport, investing in carbon offsets and volunteering for tree planting to name a few.
“We all need to approach our own footprint with a legacy mindset,” she says.
“The power of consumer choice is underrated. It’s the small things that we do every day make the biggest difference to our environmental footprint.”
Miss Ward wants to see the world meet the growing global energy demand as sustainably as possible.
She sees that a lot of the problems we’re facing with climate change is our approach and requires a shift in the way we all think.
“The science on the impact of carbon emissions and unsustainable use of resources is crystal clear.
“We need to start thinking globally and in terms of “we” rather than ‘my organisation’ or ‘my country’.
“It’s our earth. It’s our humanity.” she says.
Large corporations reducing their emissions and investing in carbon offsets definitely have a big role to play in ensuring a cleaner and greener future, she asserts.
“Coal has the highest emissions of the fossil fuels so it’s important to replace coal with more sustainable energy sources as soon as possible,” Ms Ward says.
She prompts us to ask ourselves how we can live prosperous yet more sustainable lives for the wellbeing of future generations and ends with an allegory.
“We can think of our own lifetime on earth like we’re setting up camp here. The reality is we’re just passing through. It’s our responsibility to make sure we don’t leave the campsite in a total mess for the people who come after us.”
The November trip is with Homeward Bound, a climate science leadership initiative which aims to heighten the influence and impact of women in making decisions that shape our planet with groups of around 90 women each year since 2016.
by Tatiana Dalin