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An open letter to influencers by the Students of the Dauphine Sustainable Development Master

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By Estelle Hensgen

· 3 min read

Open letter to influencers

Dear influencers,

The title of your job says it all. The power you have over the people who watch you is unprecedented and it is time to use it.

As people who are active on social networks, the latest IPCC report should not have escaped your attention: 3 years to reverse the curves of greenhouse gas emissions, a short period of time for a great objective. But one question nags at us: where are the environmental issues in your content?

Your last big event was in Los Angeles, for the Coachella festival. To respect the Paris Climate Agreement, our carbon budget must be 2t eqCO2 per person per year. A round trip from Paris to Los Angeles emits at least 3.28t eqCO2. Congratulations, you've already blown your annual budget! Add to that the two-hour drive to get there, and the 107 tons of waste generated every day during the two-week festival. This is the recipe for one of the most watched events on the planet.

Like the Uighur scandal, the climate emergency scandal has the same effect on you: inaction and denial. You continue to share your ultra-abundant lifestyles and consumption patterns, a testament to your personal and professional success. As a result, you encourage the millions of people who follow you to continue this dynamic of hyper-consumption, through your competitions, each one more aberrant than the last: thousands of euros in shopping or flights for a weekend. Congratulations, you are also blowing your subscribers' annual carbon budget!

This is only a non-exhaustive list, unfortunately it is still very long. We are not asking you to jeopardise your jobs, just to open your eyes. We are not your detractors, we have followed you for a long time and we denounce the way of life that you advocate. We don't want to be victims of your climate-damaging behaviour. Some of your colleagues have already gone through this, now it's your turn.

Whether you like it or not, you now represent an ideal for many. This is why you owe it to your subscribers to be exemplary. Many ask why change and act when big names don't. You have the influence we don't, help us promote responsible lifestyles. The later the sacrifices are made, the harder they will be.

Inform, explain, learn. This is not a political issue, it is not about the interest of a few people, it is a global issue from which no one will emerge unscathed: 3.5 billion climate refugees, the release of viruses, conflicts over energy and resources... Time is running out. You have power, use it.

Students of the Dauphine Sustainable Development Master's degree

Future Thought Leaders is a democratic space presenting the thoughts and opinions of rising Energy & Sustainability writers, their opinions do not necessarily represent those of illuminem.

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About the author

Estelle Hensgen is a master's student at Université Paris Dauphine PSL. She is also the Vice President of Dauphine Durable, a society focused around sustainability in all its forms.

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