April 22, 2020 is the 3rd anniversary of itmustbeNOW.com and the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and most of us are in self-isolation with our countries in lock down due to COVID-19. It is unsettling to realise how quickly our lives have changed and how much we have taken for granted. Most of us will hopefully mark this day and the rest of the year reflecting on the massive interconnected threats we have brought onto ourselves and future generations … and make an urgent choice to be part of the solution.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought our world to its knees and thrown travel, public health and the economy into chaos and jeopardy. It is a deadly warning for us to respect nature, protect animal health and their habitats, and leave ecosystems intact and not destroy them.
To strengthen our global response and save lives, everyone is asked to do their bit for the good of the community by staying home and we’re seeing countless acts of community solidarity, compassion and empathy to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. This is an epic test of character and our collective strength. There is no other moment in our lifetime when so many of us find ourselves so dependent on the goodwill of strangers.
We need the same collective strength to tackle climate change, a more massive threat to humanity which started slow and many ignored for decades. Scientists warn that we have less than 8 years of current emissions remaining in our carbon budget before we reach 1.5°C (34.7°F) above pre-industrial levels. We are forewarned that just half a degree beyond this and we will severely destabilise our climate and worsen the climate extremes we are already experiencing today, threatening people and planet. Today it is 1.31°C (34.36°F) above pre-industrial levels. We are running out of time and we must urgently reduce our carbon emissions NOW.
With scarcity of time and budgets, response to each of these interconnected threats should be coordinated in ways that could also improve the other threats. Sustainability* with accountability and transparency, carbon neutrality and the 17 Global Goals must be the cornerstone of the coordinated global recovery response by governments, key agencies, companies and individuals.
IT MUST BE NOW is our determined call-to-urgent-action, our trumpet call, our rallying cry! Launched on Earth Day 2017, itmustbeNOW.com is a platform with a mission to boldly advance sustainability, to transform the impact and future of travel to be a force for good, for people and for our planet.
As travellers, we should use the power of our wallet, our vote and our influence to drive urgent change by only supporting responsible companies (airlines, tour operators, hotels, resorts, etc) that are commitment to sustainability* with accountability and transparency; and our internal radar should be tuned to detect greenwash.
As the first generation to know we are destroying our planet and the last that can do anything to save it, we must be the generation that join the fight. We are the solution and we all have a role to play to save our environment, our communities and ourselves. It must be NOW!
*NOW defines sustainability as development and action that take total responsibility of communities and the environment to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The goal is to be carbon neutral and support the 17 Global Goals with accountability and transparency.