Rise in climate change awareness
Several events in 2019 demonstrated increased public awareness and understanding of the importance of climate change. Fridays for Future movement has galvanized millions of people protesting across 150 countries, Greta Thunberg has become a household name, and the environment became a major topic of influence for people voting in the UK general election. Carbon offsetting by individuals and companies have both increased considerably this year, with one offsetting organisation seeing a four-fold increase in investment. This indicates that people are more motivated to reduce their personal carbon footprint and are demanding the same of companies. Of course, we must ensure that tree planting through carbon offsetting schemes does not distract or displace the fundamental need to drastically cut emissions and there must be a focus on restoring native ecosystems of all types. Nonetheless, the swell of interest in climate change and nature is extremely welcome.