World Consumer Rights Day 2023! plus meet 50 by 40, and Climate Interactive!
World Consumer Rights Day 2023! Meet 50 by 40 & Climate Interactive!
WORLD CONSUMER RIGHTS DAY 2023
Each March 15, the consumer movement unites to highlight a pressing issue facing consumers globally. March 15 is known as World Consumer Rights Day. It was fostered by the International Organization of Consumers Unions after a 1962 speech by then-U.S. President John F. Kennedy in which he said, “Consumers by definition include us all. They are the largest economic group, affecting and affected by almost every public and private economic decision. Yet they are the only important group… whose views are often not heard.”
The IOCU, now known as Consumers International, was founded in 1960 by Dutch woman, Elizabeth Schadee and British Caspar Brook. What began as three organizations is now 200 consumer groups in 100 countries. Each year since its inception has included a theme. The 2023 theme for World Consumer Rights Day selected Empowering Consumers Through Clean Energy Transitions as the global theme.
Why does World Consumer Rights Day matter to us? Well, think of it this way: “Amidst the greatest cost-of-living crisis in a generation and as the energy world drastically responds to supply and climate issues, Consumers International may have a core role to play in delivering a just transition for consumers. This year its members will unite and run campaigns and activities on Wednesday, March 15, from grassroots campaigns to policy dialogue to innovations which provide clear advice to consumers.
MEET 50 BY 40
According to the founders of 50 By 40, the global food system is often left out of discussions and strategies for a better future, yet the overwhelming majority of agricultural land—77%—is used for raising and feeding animals for human consumption. These practices damage the environment, our communities, and increase the risk to public health. All of which exacerbates climate change.
The name of the organization is also the goal of it: A 50% reduction in the global production and consumption of farmed animal products by 2040, with the remaining production systems being environmentally and socially sustainable, regenerative and humane, achieved via a Just Transition of the farming system. The mission of 50 By 40 is to convene and lead a global cross-sector stakeholder group to catalyze and augment efforts to achieve significant reductions in the most unsustainable forms of animal production and consumption through awareness raising, advocacy, and campaigning.
Why does 50 By 40 matter to us? The open letter it wrote to member states of the UN. Called, “A Call for a Global Just Livestock Transition to Secure Livelihoods, Mitigate Climate Change, Improve Environment and Health.” In it, they urge Member States engaged in the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS):
- To publicly recognize that reducing industrialized livestock* production and consumption is essential to meet the global targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Focusing on technological improvements cannot address the core problem and will only delay and deepen the engulfed climate, environmental, health, food and nutrition security crises. AND
- To apply the principles of Just Transition to enable a global equitable transformation within livestock production which could serve as a strong driver of job creation, social justice, poverty reduction and better public health.
Climate Interactive creates and shares tools that drive effective and equitable climate action. Who is Climate Interactive? Climate Interactive envisions a thriving world, where greenhouse gas emissions are falling rapidly. Its mission is to create and share tools that drive effective and equitable climate action.
Okay, but how? According to its website, Climate Interactive hosts a team of system dynamics modelers who create user-friendly climate simulators—spanning topics of international policy, cutting-edge climate solutions, energy dynamics, climate justice, food systems, and more. System dynamics is an approach to understanding the nonlinear behavior of complex systems over time using stocks, flows, internal feedback loops, table functions and time delays. Human behavior can be considered a complex system.
I know this group means well, but I think their website is a little jargony. IOW, it’s not a simple matter in layspeak to understand CI’s process. Here are some of their tools: En-ROADS is a global climate simulator that allows users to explore the impact of roughly 30 policies—such as electrifying transport, pricing carbon, and improving agricultural practices—on hundreds of factors like energy prices, temperature, air quality, and sea level rise.
That compares to C-ROADS. C-ROADS is an online policy simulator that allows users to test and visualize the long-term impacts of climate strategies across distinct regional groups. The C-ROADS Simulator is supposed to help us understand the impact of the emission reduction pledges countries have proposed to the United Nations. These proposals take different forms with different reduction rates and target years. Using C-ROADS clients can rapidly test policies to determine whether collectively they are enough to stabilize temperature below 2°C.
Why does Climate Interactive matter to us? Its partners have used our simulators in universities, communities, governments and businesses in 84 countries, engaging over 150,000 registered participants.