The topic below was seen in the Academic IELTS exam in Nigeria, May 2011.
General Training Writing Task 2
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Reducing global environmental damage should be handled by governments rather than individuals. To what extent do you agree or disagree? Give reasons for your answer and provide relevant examples from your own experience.
You should write at least 250 words.
The rate at which the Earth is being damaged through human activity is alarming. As awareness of this disturbing situation grows, actions are increasingly being taken to meet the challenge. Although world governments play key roles in the question of environmental health, it is strongly disagreed that their environmental efforts negate those of individuals. I will use both a personal experience I have had as well as non-government inspired initiatives undertaken in my country to illustrate this position.
Firstly, the sizeable contribution an individual can make in the world’s attempt to cleanse itself should not be underestimated. I feel the changes I have made to my own lifestyle act as a good example here. Four years ago, I made a conscious effort to start taking the subway to work instead of driving after realizing I had been burning an entire tank of gas every week. The effect of this small change over the course of four years became magnified when I realized I had refrained from burning more than two hundred full car tanks of gas! Thus, although there are many things that governments can do to help fight environmental damage, the individual still plays a huge role.
In addition to this, many non-government related entities have also been making inroads in the battle for a cleaner world. For example, at many of the universities in Canada, there are student groups that work to raise awareness of the lifestyle changes people can make to better help the environment. These independent groups help put a face to a message and really push people to alter themselves for the benefit of the natural world. As this makes clear, projects aimed at preserving the Earth do not have to be government-run to make a difference.
As my experiences show, the world’s governments should not solely handle the issue of global environmental damage. It is hoped that the future sees more people contribute to this cause in any way they can.