A businessman-turned-activist has walked more than 2,600 miles through 14 countries as part of his climate campaign to promote carbon capture.
Craig Cohon trekked over 153 days after starting in London’s Trafalgar Square in early January, and crossed the finish line at the Galata Bridge in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Monday, which is also World Environment Day and his 60th birthday.
He passed through 82 cities and towns on his journey, including in France, Belgium, Germany, Poland and Hungary, as part of his efforts to remove his lifetime carbon footprint.
He described his 2,640-mile (4,250km) walk as a metaphor for the “action and consistency” needed to tackle climate change as the world is “addicted to fossil fuels”.
The businessman, who previously had a ‘decadent’ lifestyle, has focused on carbon removal and “reversing his lifetime carbon footprint going back to 1963”.
His personal footprint was equivalent to 8,147 tonnes of CO2 (carbon dioxide) over his lifetime so far – an amount 28 times the global average.
And he urged other people to “make a difference” and “make the change”.
Mr Cohon, who walked 15-22 miles a day (25km-35km) during his challenge, said: “We don’t have to wait for corporations, we don’t have to wait for politicians, we can make the change.
“Not everyone has to walk 153 days and focus on carbon removal and remove their lifetime carbon footprint like I did, but do what you can do and it will make a difference.”
He recalled making his way across a bridge in Holland where there were “thousands of diesel trucks”, and also walking down a canal between Hanover and Berlin where there were barges transporting coal.
“It continued and it continued – these little moments that show how ingrained we are in the system that we’re trying to change,” he said.
Two years ago, the Canadian, who is based in London, started trying to make up for his footprint.
He donated $1m (£800,000) of his pension fund to carbon removal projects – which take out carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
His Walk It Back campaign promotes such projects and he now calls himself “an accidental ultra-endurance athlete”.
While Mr Cohon’s walk negated the use of air travel, he now plans to fly from Istanbul to Chicago to see his daughter.
He said: “Am I a hypocrite? 100%. I have not managed to have a net zero life… but as long as I start closing that gap to get to net zero.
“When I fly, I’ll remove my carbon and I’ll make sure that I pay for sustainable fuel.”
This story originally appeared on Skynews