International Reducing CO₂ Emissions Day — Let's Show The Way!

By Ronald Hazelzet
Published in Climate Change
January 24, 2023
International Reducing CO₂ Emissions Day — Let's Show The Way!

We have known for almost 200 years that CO₂ in the atmosphere leads to global warming. This insight has gradually become more concrete since 1824, to the point where we can no longer ignore it today---although our lazy brain sometimes still tries to…

Fortunately, governments, companies and citizens are taking increasingly determined action these days to keep our planet habitable for future generations. On International Reducing CO₂ Emissions Day, on January 28, many people shift their efforts up a notch. But what is this day actually about?

How did we discover the role of CO₂?

Joseph Fourier (1768-1830), mathematician and physicist, founder of Napoleon’s munitions factories in Egypt, later prefect of Grenoble and professor at the Grande École Polytechnique, was the first to convincingly calculate that the Earth, given its size and distance from the Sun, was warmer than was to be expected—perhaps due to unknown stellar radiation or an undiscovered insulating layer around the Earth, he thought.

In 1896, the Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius hypothesized that burning fossil fuels could increase the amount of CO₂ in the atmosphere and thus raise global temperatures. The later Nobel Prize winner supplied detailed calculations to support his assumption.

That hypothesis was proven in 1938 by Guy Callendar, an English steam engineer and inventor, who demonstrated that the Earth’s land temperatures had risen over the previous 50 years. Callendar attributed this to increasing CO₂ concentrations in the atmosphere—which he regarded as a positive because it would delay the “return of deadly glaciers”.

Fast forward to today

climate agreementAfter the somewhat half-heartedly implemented Kyoto Protocol in 1997, the globally groundbreaking Urgenda lawsuit (in which the Dutch Supreme Court ruled: “The state’s duty of care includes climate action”) and the legally binding Paris Climate Agreement in 2016, governments and companies are increasingly serious about curbing CO₂ emissions, setting and pursuing ambitious targets as the need is becoming clearly noticeable and felt.

In the Dutch Climate Agreement and the Belgian National Energy and Climate Plan, the government and industry have committed themselves to ambitious targets and concrete actions up to 2030. All hands are finally on deck!

Citizens, too, make their contributions, whether individually, at home, or collectively through for example an energy cooperative. All those little bits do add up to a big impact!

What do people do on International Reducing CO₂ Emissions Day?

Local foodMany people do something extra for Mother Earth and each other on this day—and often it’s fun and healthy too!

A few examples of actions you can take today:

  • Set your hot water boiler to 60 °C / 140 °F. Your water heater is a sneaky energy guzzler and 60 °C (or even 50 °C or 45 °C) is fine for showering and dishwashing for most people.
  • For short trips: cycle or walk. Give your car a break. Force of habit often holds us back. But if you choose consciously, you’ll notice that the car is needed less often than you’d unconsciously assume. Plus, you’ll get a breath of fresh air.
  • Buy and cook local food. Your money will then keep circulating in your community for longer, instead of leaking away through a chain store to some tax haven. It’s also super fresh, healthy, and it prevents CO₂ emissions from transport by plane or boat. What’s not to like?

More tips and challenging challenges? Download the Scone app!

Are you open to more ideas for smart and fun climate actions? Then use the Scone app which offers tips and tricks for your home, lifestyle and transport with less CO₂ and more quality in your life.

Get instant free access to our Futureproof Foodie Challenge in collaboration with our partner Ekomenu.

Or join our Winter Is Here Challenge and save energy and hundreds of euros!

The advantages of the Scone app:

  • You take action together in a community
  • It’s completely free (companies do pay a fee for extra features)
  • Your privacy is 100% guaranteed
  • In Dutch or English
  • Download the Scone app and discover how easy and fun a greener life can be!

Download the Scone app for iOS of Android.

Or learn more about Scone.

Companies can also take practical climate action with their employees. More info here.

On to the next International Reducing CO₂ Emissions Day! Until some fine day it’ll no longer be necessary. Imagine that… Thank you for participating!


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Ronald Hazelzet

Ronald Hazelzet


Table Of Contents

How did we discover the role of CO₂?
Fast forward to today
What do people do on International Reducing CO₂ Emissions Day?
More tips and challenging challenges? Download the Scone app!

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