Scotland's Sustainable Development Goals Network
Author Neil Kitching at Bass Rock

Carbon Choices, by Neil Kitching

Image of Neil Kitching's faceGuest blog by Neil Kitching, geographer and Energy Specialist | January 2021

Neil has written a book on the common-sense solutions to our climate and nature crises.  Here Neil explains how climate, nature and the Sustainable Development Goals are all intertwined.

The Sustainable Development Goals are a comprehensive package of targets to make the planet greener, to improve equality and to enhance our lives.  However, most politicians and pressure groups only have the capacity to focus on one major issue.  Although I did not deliberately theme my book around the Sustainable Development Goals, when I look at them I find that my book touches on them all.  Maybe that is the geographer in me coming to the fore – jack of all trades, but master of none.

Clearly ‘climate action’ and ‘clean energy’ is at the core of any book on climate.  We need to tax fossil fuels, subsidise new greener technology and support developing countries in order to accelerate the transition to renewable energy.  But unsustainable consumption is at the heart of our climate crises – whether that is our unhealthy diets, travelling unnecessarily or buying fast fashion.  ‘Responsible consumption and production’, consuming less, but better quality and businesses adopting a circular economy where everything is reused or recycled will help. 

Water – too much of it, too little or poor quality – will be the medium through which most of us first feel the effects of climate change.  More floods and droughts are predicted and these clearly have a direct impact on humans and nature.  The goal of ‘clean water and sanitation’ will be more difficult with these changes in the water cycle.   Meanwhile ‘gender equality’ provides women with rights and empowers them to choose the size of their family which helps to prevent unsustainable population growth.

I wrote this book out of frustration that society was doing too little to tackle climate change.  Part of the problem is that the people in power were never taught about climate change and its devastating impacts at school – hence ‘quality education’ is important.  But the climate crisis is not just about the weather and its impact on humans.  Nature will be affected adversely by a changing climate; whilst the destruction of nature, such as loss of forests and mangroves, increases climate change.  The SD goals of ‘life on land’ and ‘life below water’ are relevant.

In conclusion, to support a sustainable economy and planet we need much stronger, and sensible, government regulations. Business then needs to apply the regulations and only then can retailers offer consumers clearer and better carbon choices.

Carbon Choices is available on Amazon or you can read more at  This book will interest all those who have an interest in climate, nature and our future. I will donate one third of profits to rewilding projects.

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