Climate change refers to the long-term change in temperatures and weather patterns around the world.
Since the 1800s, human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas have been the main driver of climate change.1
Burning fossil fuels results in the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. These gases trap the sun’s heat and raise the average temperature of the earth.
As the earth’s climate is all interlinked, raising temperatures will have negative effects around the world. These include severe droughts, melting polar ice, sea level rises and catastrophic storms and weather events.1
In the future, if climate change is not prevented, the consequences on people around the world will only get worse with negative impacts to our health, ability to grow food, safety and work. We will also likely see mass migrations of people.1
Yes, the worst effects of climate change can definitely be prevented.
The earth has sufficient energy sources from the sun, wind and energy stored in atoms (nuclear energy) that it can meet all future energy requirements without needing to rely on fossil fuels.
However, while it is technically possible, it requires the world to take decisive action to rapidly decrease its greenhouse gas emissions.
To prevent the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change, the world needs to limit global average temperature increases to 1.5°C.
Achieving this requires reducing global CO₂ emissions from over 59 gigatonnes per year in 2020, to net zero by 2050.
Reducing emissions can be summarised down to the following steps:3
For both individuals and businesses, the best way to contribute is to start calculating your carbon footprint and then focus on reducing it as much as possible.
You can reduce your emissions by decreasing your most polluting activities and switching to use more sustainable products or services.