UK and Italian ambassadors to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Matthew Field and Nicola Minasi respectively, wrote a blog about climate change.

Field and Minasi reminded that in November this year, the UK and Italy would together host the UN Climate Change Conference, popularly called COP 26, in Glasgow.

The situation facing all of us today is critical. The science is clear - climate change is real and it is threatening our future. Current actions fall far short of what is needed to limit the catastrophic damage to our lives, and those of our children. It is already evident in the extreme weather we see more of - droughts, flooding, storms, and melting ice caps - and we can expect more ahead of us. It will massively impact on our food production, our health, and our very lives. Our oceans are increasingly full of plastic, our biodiversity shrinking, and species dying out”, they warned.

At the Paris COP of 2015, the world agreed to limit warming to 1.5° Celsius, but this too requires ever greater effort and collaboration from all of us. The themes of this COP will be clean growth, finance, nature-based solutions and adaptation and resilience. But more than anything, we want this year to be defined by ambition and action”, the Ambassadors explained.

We do not believe that the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina need to be told that failing to take care of the environment around us is damaging”, they wrote. “It is clear in the choking air pollution that affects Sarajevo, Tuzla and other cities across the country. It is clear in the plastic bags and other rubbish that scars the beautiful rivers and valleys. It is clear in the terrible impact of floods, uncontrolled construction, and deforestation, which leads to natural disasters like the landslides seen in BiH in 2014”.

We want to see every country raise its own ambition, and pledge to do more through its Nationally Defined Contribution, finalizing of its Fourth National Greenhouse Gas Emission Report, National Adaptation Plan for Climate Change and the shift to greener energy and reducing emissions. If you want Bosnia and Herzegovina and other countries in this region to do more to lead the way, then you can raise your voice and encourage your representatives to do so. It is not too late to take meaningful action. But every year that we collectively fail to do so means a greater likelihood of disaster in the future”, Field and Minasi stated.

There is a great deal each of us can do to make a difference, and contribute to this Year of Climate Action”, they added. “You could stop accepting plastic bags with your shopping, and take reusable bags with you. You could improve the insulation in your home, to reduce your emissions and your heating costs. You could more often take public transport, cycle or walk. You could stop buying water in disposable bottles in favor of one you carry with you. You could encourage your workplace to reduce its waste, to take part in a countryside clean up, or use cleaner heating sources”.

The Italian Embassy has pledged to promote cleaning actions for Via Dinarica, a project for promoting tourism along trekking routes in Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the same time, the UK Embassy will stop all single use plastics, and make this year’s Queen’s Birthday Party the first one to be completely plastic free.

We know there is more we can do, and we will try to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. We also know that there are many people across Bosnia and Herzegovina who care just as passionately about protecting the world around us, and we would love to hear more about what we can all do about it. Get in touch. There is no Planet B. So we had better work together to protect this one”, the Ambassadors concluded.