In this episode, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dominik Gajerski, the coordinator of the Polish edition of the Climate Classic Poland Rally. The Climate Classic rallies are a series of events aimed at raising awareness about the urgency of taking action against climate change and adapting to its impacts. The idea originated in the Netherlands and has now spread to multiple European countries, including Poland.
During our conversation, Dominik explained that the choice of Gdansk and Gdynia as the locations for the rally was not a coincidence. These areas, partly below sea level, are particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels and the effects of climate change. The main objective of the rally is to raise awareness about these issues, but it also emphasizes the importance of taking tangible action.
One of the unique aspects of the rally is that participants are required to calculate their individual carbon footprints and make a pledge to reduce them. To facilitate this, the rally has partnered with the Carbon Footprint Foundation, which provides an online tool for participants to calculate their emissions. Additionally, the rally organizers have prepared a cheat sheet with practical ideas on how individuals can reduce their carbon footprints in their daily lives. These changes may seem small, such as taking shorter showers, adjusting home temperatures, or using alternative transportation like cycling, but they can make a significant difference when implemented collectively.
As a passionate cyclist himself, Dominik believes that cycling is not only an environmentally friendly mode of transportation but also a powerful platform for discussing climate change and reducing carbon footprints. By switching from fossil fuel-based transportation to cycling or walking, individuals can significantly cut their carbon emissions. Moreover, the rally itself serves as a metaphor for the collective effort required to address climate change. Just as cyclists riding in a peloton can achieve higher speeds by working together, individuals joining forces can have a greater impact on combating climate change.
The success of the Climate Classic Poland Rally would not be possible without the support of various organisations and sponsors. These partners are carefully selected based on their alignment with the goals of the initiative. Dominik emphasised the importance of associating the rally with companies that are actively working to reduce their own carbon footprints, as it provides a tangible proof of concept and inspires others in the business sector to follow suit.
I also learned that the organisers of the rally are committed to practicing what they preach. They are working with the Carbon Footprint Foundation to calculate and offset the event’s own carbon footprint. They are exploring options to make the offsetting process tangible and involve the local community in the efforts.
For those interested in participating in the upcoming Climate Classic Poland Rally, registration is currently open. The event will take place on May 28th, starting and finishing in Gdansk and Gdynia. Participants can choose between two route options: 100 kilometres or 250 kilometres. It is a one-day rally, starting early in the morning and concluding in the evening.
In closing, Dominik encouraged individuals from other countries to get involved and organise their own Climate Classic events. The Cycling for Climate Foundation, which initiated the rally, provides a blueprint for organising and offers support to volunteers who want to take on the challenge.
My conversation with Dominik Gajerski shed light on the significance of the Climate Classic Poland Rally and the crucial role of individual and collective action in combating climate change. The rally not only raises awareness but also empowers individuals to make tangible changes in their lives to reduce their carbon footprints. It serves as a powerful reminder that by coming together and taking action now, we can make a positive impact on our planet’s future.
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