What is Climate Change?
Climate change is not a new thing. It has been happening for many generations, however it is the modern day consequences of climate change that are of serious concern to us now as they may well have irreversible implications for future generations.
The main cause of climate change is the increase in CO2 levels – carbon dioxide which is produced as a bi product of burning fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas, also from methane and nitrous oxide from farming, and as a result of deforestation. (Trees and plants absorb carbon dioxide and therefore act as a buffer)
Greenhouse gases which make up 1% of the earth's atmosphere simulate the glass roof of a greenhouse trapping heat...as levels of Carbon dioxide rise this impacts the amount of heat trapped and temperatures rise. Hence the term global warming
Recently governments have started to rally around the problem, making pledges at the Copenhagen Accord last year, to cut emissions by 2020. However the UN Environment Programme (UNep) has recently reported that these pledges will still see temperatures rise by up to 4 degrees this century and fall short of what is required..
We are already seeing the devastating consequences of the rise in temperature: altering rainfall patterns producing increased floods, droughts and rising tides. The melting Arctic ice and the destruction of coral reefs are obvious signs of the rising temperatures.
The United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) state that ….”there is little doubt that climate change will lead to unprecedented changes in the natural environment, which will in turn affect the way we live, with potentially dramatic consequences on our health, energy sources and food production systems”
And the probability is these effects will hurt most, those who already live in precarious conditions. The global injustice for this is that a staggering 75% of emissions responsible for the climate change we face today come from 20% of the worlds population in the developed world. In short, according the UN “ those who suffer the most from climate change have done the least to cause it”
We have a collective responsibility to do something about it.
So how can you help?
A staggering 45% of the UK’s man-made CO2 emissions come from the energy we use in the home and when we travel. That means you can do a lot to help reduce emissions.
Investing in solar and renewables will reduce your personal carbon footprint and save you money in the long run.
Take advantage of the significant savings and tariffs the Government have pledged – they have a target to meet so it is in their interest to make it beneficial for you.
Make energy savings where you can and use energy more efficiently. Look at collective car ownerships and reduce unnecessary travel.
See our step by step guide on how to install solar PV. Don’t think you have to live in a hot climate to reap the benefits, it is light not heat that is required, so even in the UK we can take advantage of solar...
Useful Links and resources:
UNep United Nations Environment Programme www.unep.org
UNFCC United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change unfccc.int/2860.php
European Climate Foundation (ECF) http://www.europeanclimate.org/
Department of energy and climate change http://www.decc.gov.uk/
Energy saving Trust UK - For tips on how you can save energy http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/
China Sustainable Energy Programme www.efchina.org
The Energy Foundation (US) http://www.ef.org/home.cfm
International Climate Works Foundation http://www.climateworks.org/
Stern Report – Sir Nicholas Stern former chief economist for the World Bank presents climate change report to UK government. Key points outlined in Guardian newspaper:
Princes Trust – working to save the rainforest www.rainforestsos.org
Zoe Symington, Sales and Marketing