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By Ellen Ormesher, Senior Reporter

November 15, 2023 | 4 min read

Ahead of Cop28, the NGO is highlighting the importance of optimism and the power of collective action.

Recent studies have shown that half of the Earth’s forests have been lost over the last century, with agriculture contributing to approximately 75% of deforestation. The rapid destruction of these natural environments, which play a pivotal role in absorbing carbon, is worsening the climate crisis, particularly in rural areas where about 80% of those already living in extreme poverty reside.

But new research, commissioned by the Rainforest Alliance and conducted by Ipsos in five countries (the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Brazil) reveals that 70% of participants believe they can personally make a positive difference by taking action to tackle climate change, while 25% express skepticism about their ability to do so.

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The study highlights that climate action is contagious, with 56% of respondents feeling encouraged to help tackle climate change by people around them taking positive action and 47% agreeing that they would take more action if they knew everyone was doing the same. Encouragingly, 58% have confidence in our collective ability to come up with solutions to tackle climate change – if we all work together.

The ‘Pessimism Is Out. We’re All In!’ campaign leans in on the importance of this optimism and the power of collective action in the fight against climate change. In the light-hearted ad, a climate-conscious citizen stands strong against the voice of a climate skeptic, personifying a role model for all those who care about the environment.

Directed by American filmmaker Max Joseph, the spot also features a cameo by Dylan Page, aka NewsDaddy, TikTok’s number-one news content creator.

Joseph says: “Collaborating with the Rainforest Alliance on this campaign allowed me to confront my own challenges in combatting climate change – particularly overcoming my inner cynicism, which is probably one of the biggest universal impediments to everyone doing their part, aside from legislation and geopolitics. When a piece of media can connect with people’s inner struggles and offer them a path through it, it not only spreads but also empowers, and that, to me, is the highest form of content.”

A varied network of global influencers, including Hollywood actor Alicia Silverstone, music artist Kenya Grace, the model, climate activist and Dirt Charity founder Arizona Muse, artist Sarah Nilson (Just Froget About It), climate activist Pattie Gonia, photographer Mitchell Burns and campaigner Isaias Hernandez (Queer Brown Vegan), are supporting the campaign and joining the alliance, in an intentional move to make the Rainforest Alliance’s mission resonate with diverse and engaged communities.

Marco Maggiorotto, director of brand marketing at the Rainforest Alliance, emphasizes that, ahead of the UN’s annual climate summit, Cop28, which will take place in Dubai later this month, governments and companies both have a vital role to play in addressing climate change: “Despite the critical voice in our heads and what we are sometimes led to believe, individuals hold the power to help drive change in the world. For over 35 years, the Rainforest Alliance has united farm and forest communities, companies, governments, civil society, and millions of individuals to protect forests and biodiversity, address climate change and improve rural livelihoods.”

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