By the Blouin News Politics staff

Policy solutions to climate change: start small, think big

by in Africa, Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East.

Delegates attend the opening of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) at the Tivoli Congress Center in Copenhagen on October 27, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Scanpix DENMARK / Keld Navntoft / DENMARK OUT

Delegates attend the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Copenhagen on October 27, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Scanpix DENMARK / Keld Navntoft / DENMARK OUT

How can international policy makers make a dent in the overwhelming problematic of climate change? Bit by bit.

To that end, scientists, academics and local policy makers  gathered under the auspices of the Climate CoLab’s conference on “Crowds and Climate,” held at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Thursday. Panelists and 2014 contest winners echoed the major tenets of the Climate CoLab – use crowd-based technology to tackle climate change and divide the problem into manageable subsections – as they introduced their own varied solutions. Some notable examples: the adoption of food bikes like those prevalent in China, proposed by American John Romankiewicz; the use of mangroves to address sea level rise and coastal erosion by Poh Poh of Singapore; and reliance on crowdsourcing to give communities the capacity to raise funds needed to create green, climate-safe spaces in cities in India presented by Aditi Sen.

Discover more innovative solutions proposed by the Climate CoLab here.

Such solutions may be feasible in theory. However, it’s left to individual governments to implement them, on both the local and international level, and address challenges like infrastructure and public engagement. Here the onus is on the richest nations to pave the way. Countries like Denmark and the United Kingdom are making notable strides, according to the Climate Change Performance Index, which ranks nations based on several factors, including policies aimed at slowing climate change. But much of the world is lagging. A sobering report published by the United Nations this week warned that, if left unchecked, the deleterious impacts of climate change might become irreversible. As Thursday’s panel revealed, the creativity needed to solve climate change exists; now, the ideas just need some muscle behind them.