Luc Bijnens / Visiting Professor Biostatistics

Hasselt University / Biology and Statistics

The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.

The main concerns
The effects of global warming are clear with respect to change in wildlife, sea levels, arctic ice caps and biodiversity. About 100 actions are sufficient to reach zero emission worldwide by 2050. Eighty of these are immediate actions we can do now as stated by writer and researcher Paul Hawken of the Drawdown project ( see TED talk by Chad Frischmann). They include technological innovation such as carbon-free energy sources for electricity, but also societal, governmental, industrial and agricultural solutions. Many contributions to reduce global warming could come from all citizens by changing their day-to-day life to a more climate friendly behaviour.
Changes and actions in the way of life
In my personal life I try to keep my carbon footprint small. I moved closer to my working place to be able to commute by walking or cycling. At the same time I am now living in a low-energy house with extra insulation to keep the heating-energy consumption low. I buy my electricity from a provider with 100% renewable energy. I plan to invest some of my family savings in renewable-energy projects because that way I hope to encourage ecology and economy to go hand in hand in a sustainable manner.
During my childhood I was raised with a diet that contained a high percentage of meat. However since then I have moved on to an almost vegetarian diet.
Difficulties experienced when seeking to lower the footprint
When moving to another city in Belgium to live closer to my working place I wanted to sell my private house to be able to pay for a new house. The Belgian tax system however made this very difficult because of the high taxation for selling houses. A reduction of this taxation would assist citizens to move closer to their working place when they prefer to do so. One of the most important solutions to reduce greenhouse gases is to ban the cooling liquids with high greenhouse effects for refrigeration. Customers buying refrigerators could be assisted in their choices if governments could ban those liquids with a high greenhouse impact. This solution potentially has the largest impact world wide of all possible solutions to get to the 2050 goals (Paul Hawken).

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