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In the universe are billions of galaxies, and in our galaxy are billions of planets, but there is only one Earth, so we need to live sustainably in harmony with nature by working towards a cleaner, greener lifestyle, according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

June 5 is World Environment Day, and UNEP is at the forefront in supporting the Paris Agreement's goal of keeping the global temperature rise well below 2°C, and aiming - to be safe - for 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels.

"The climate emergency demands action from all of us. We need to get to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and everyone has a role to play," UNEP's climate change co-ordinator, Niklas Hagelberg, said.

"As individuals, we must change our consumption habits and pressure those who represent us to move rapidly to a low-carbon world."

To do this, UNEP has developed a Six-Sector Solution, a roadmap to reducing emissions across sectors in line with the Paris Agreement commitments and in pursuit of climate stability. The six sectors identified are:

  • energy;
  • industry;
  • agriculture and food;
  • forests and land use;
  • transport;
  • buildings and cities.

The good news is that there is a lot we can still do as individuals and be a part of the climate solution.

Spread the word

Encourage your friends, family and co-workers to reduce their carbon pollution. Join a global movement like Count Us In, which aims to inspire 1billion people to take practical steps and challenge their leaders to act more boldly on climate.

Lobby politicians

Pick an environmental issue you care about, decide on a specific request for change and then try to arrange a meeting with your local representative. It might seem intimidating, but your voice deserves to be heard.

Leave the car at home

Transport accounts for around a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. Leave your car at home and walk or cycle whenever possible. If the distances are too great, choose public transport, preferably electric options.

The climate emergency demands action from all of us. We need to get to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and everyone has a role to play.

- Niklas Hagelberg, climate change co-ordinator, UNEP

Be energy efficient

If you can switch to a zero-carbon or renewable energy provider. Install solar panels on your roof. Be more efficient: turn your heating down a degree or two, if possible. Switch off appliances and lights when you are not using them and better yet, buy the most efficient products in the first place (hint: this will save you money).

Buy locally and buy sustainable

To reduce your food's carbon footprint, buy local and seasonal foods. You'll be helping small businesses and farms in your area.

Go one step further and try growing your own fruit, vegetables and herbs.

You can plant them in a garden, on a balcony or even on a window sill. Set up a community garden in your neighbourhood to get others involved.

Plant trees

Every year approximately 12 million hectares of forest are destroyed, and this deforestation, together with agriculture and other land-use changes, is responsible for roughly 25 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

We can all play a part in reversing this trend by planting trees, either individually or as part of a collective.

Make planet-friendly investments

Individuals can also spur change through their savings and investments by choosing financial institutions that do not invest in carbon-polluting industries. Use your money to support causes you believe in and avoid those you don't. Ask your financial institution about their responsible banking policies.