It is no longer possible to ignore climate changes. To combat climate change, governments around the globe have made a series of commitments to reduce carbon emissions, increase recycling, and find alternatives to single-use plastics. These commitments are not always kept.
Despite its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2020, the UK will still miss its carbon reduction targets for 2025 and 2030. Bolsenaro and Trump, climate skeptics, are actively reversing some of the gains made in the past decade with the rollback of environmental protection policies, and an increase in intensive agricultural processes.
Instead, they offer “hopes & prayers”, which is a useless commodity in an enflamed world.
Many people believe that we cannot individually make any real difference to climate change and its knock-on effects like coastal erosion or pollution. However, this mindset can actually hinder us from making positive changes.
Psychotherapists actually recommend that you get involved in climate issues and solutions. This helps to reduce feelings of hopelessness, loss of control, and despair.
There is hope in the midst of all this anxiety, panic, and fear. There are many success stories if you look hard enough: Campaign groups have successfully lobbied for legislation to reduce single-use plastics, and new technologies are making energy more efficient. Companies are also using their resources to protect our coastlines.
Let’s take a look at some UK companies that are helping to save the seas and coastlines of the world.
Halting Coastal Erosion
The devastating effects of coastal erosion are a major problem that is often overlooked. It not only affects communities that live and work along the coast but also impacts marine life that depends on these ecosystems.
Rising sea levels and more severe weather events like Hurricane Dorian could cause the destruction of millions of kilometres worth of coastline around the globe. There are many island communities that could be lost forever in the next 30 years. The UK will not be able to withstand these changing conditions.
There are simple, cheap and quick solutions. For example, Huesker’s SoilTain coastal protection tubes. These tubes are made of semi-permeable fabric and are placed along the coast. They are then filled with a sand-water mixture.
The water flows back into the sea, leaving behind only the sand. These tubes act like a wall made of sandbags and provide protection against erosion by waves. They can be placed farther from the shore to act as a breakwater for incoming storms and waves.
Some marine fauna and flora can grow on these tube structures, helping them to balance the environment in which they are placed.
CCell, a UK company that works to protect the global coasts, is another. They create artificial reefs that corals can grow on for a long time. The seawater is passed through a low-voltage current, which draws in minerals (mostly calcium carbonate), creating a “natural concrete” around the steel structure. This allows coral to grow 2-3x faster.
Coral reefs are a natural habitat for 25% marine life. They protect large stretches of coastline. CCell uses renewable wave energy to power its operations. Its focus is on boosting local economies around beachfront businesses by eco-tourism, coral restoration and local manufacturing. All this while providing coastal protection that is close to nature.
Hotels involved
Businesses on the beachfront are acutely aware that there is a risk of pollution and coastal damage.
Some hotels and other businesses are responding. The Watergate Bay Hotel in Cornwall uses 100% renewable energy. They filter their pool water with ultraviolet to reduce chlorine use. They also organise beach clean ups to remove other pollutants.
Marriott a