What is Climate Change?
In simple terms, climate change is the change in weather patterns associated with a region over a long period of time, such as high and low temperatures and rainfall amounts. Globally, scientists have observed that the Earth is warming. The past 20 years have seen many of the warmest years on record.
A legal obligation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is contained in the UK’s Climate Change Act. In 2008, it was passed by a large majority. A reduction in emissions of at least 80% by 2050 had originally been set as the headline goal. As of 2019, this target has been amended to achieve net zero emissions (100%) by 2050.
On the issue of climate change, different actions can be taken, including reducing carbon emissions, promoting cleaner energy sources, supporting energy efficiency, ensuring that companies report carbon emissions, and supporting international climate initiatives.
For millions of years, climate changes on Earth have been documented in geological records. The changes have been caused by several natural factors, including changes in the sun, volcanoes, the Earth’s orbit, and CO2 levels.
How is the UK Government responding to climate change?
A strategy was developed by them
2015 – The Paris Agreement was signed
2019 – The UK became the first major economy to pass a net zero emissions law
2020 – The UK government stops providing any direct support for thermal coal mining or coal power plants overseas
2020 – November – The UK government launches its 10 point plan
2020 – December – The UK Government announces that it will end support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas
2021 March – The UK Gov support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas officially ends
Key actions and roadmap 2021-2024
Net zero by 2050
How can we combat the effects of climate change?
- Consider walking, cycling, or taking public transportation rather than driving
- Choose an electric car for your next vehicle, and then charge it as efficiently as possible
- Whenever possible, minimise the number of flights, particularly long-haul flights
Changing what you eat can also contribute to addressing the climate crisis, for example, eating less meat and more vegetables and plant-based foods.
Here you can find a list by the UN on how small changes you make can make a huge difference to the climate crisis
We are all responsible for addressing the climate change crisis, including individuals and organisations.
Climate change data can be found here:
A selection of recent articles discussing the impact of climate change on the global economy and the need for action are presented below.
Organisations tackling climate change in the UK
Climate change committee – The UK’s independent adviser on tackling climate change
Greenpeace are doing significant work on climate change –
Leading companies making a positive contribution to the climate change crisis
A full list can be found here
The ONS website contains ‘Climate change insights, families and households, UK: August 2022’.
Here you can read about ‘How The UK is Tackling The Climate Crisis‘
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