Around 22% of the UK's carbon emissions come from our homes - including heating, lighting and appliances. When we travel - whether that's driving around your town, or flying across countries - this is collectively destroying our planet with the fossil fuels they burn.
How can you reduce your carbon footprint?
We all have to play a role in reducing climate change, to make sure future generations get to live the lives that we have lived. To stop our planet warming up, we have to work together to limit our carbon emissions. There are many ways in which we can reduce this such as:
Reducing energy consumption
Using public transport
Use reusable items
Buy locally produced foods and items
Use renewable sources of energy
By using an Electric Car instead of a standard Petrol Car, you can reduce your Carbon Emissions by up to 3 tonnes of CO2 per year. This figure can be increased to 4 tonnes if the Electric Car is charged using renewable energy sources. Similarly, by installing Solar Panels on your roof, you can reduce 1.5 tonnes of CO2 per year from your carbon footprint.
One of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint, is to be more conscious when using energy demanding items. You should make sure that you don't leave technology or lights on when they are not needed. Similarly, you should try to reuse and recycle waste, to reduce the pollution into our seas and atmosphere.
How are governments tackling climate change?
Different countries have introduced different policies regarding reducing their carbon output. But one thing all countries can agree on is the 'Paris Agreement' which includes 194 countries. Their main goal is to stop global temperatures from increasing by 1.5 degrees celsius. Since the Paris Agreement, Zero-carbon solutions have become competitive across economic sectors representing 25% of emissions. This trend is most noticeable in the power and transport sectors and has created many new business opportunities for early movers. By 2030, zero-carbon solutions could be competitive in sectors representing over 70% of global emissions.
The UK has implemented policies such as the ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) in London. This is an area which requires people to pay to drive their Vehicles in - Electric Cars are exempt from this payment. This has resulted in less petrol and diesel cars being driven in this area, causing a reduction in carbon emissions.
Engie: Claire Waysand, CEO, Engie said:
“Europe will be instrumental in shaping the fight against climate change. As a leader in renewable energies, including green gases, and in energy efficiency, Engie fully supports the ambition of the European Commission to reduce GHG emissions by at least 55% uby 2030 and helps reach these goals.”
Why is climate change such a problem?
Climate Change is arguably the biggest threat to human kind at the moment. As the planet warms, it creates droughts, stronger storms, affects ecosystems and biodiversity, and most importantly it melts ice caps. Each of these factors creates its own problems for example, with ice caps melting, it is rising sea levels at alarming rates - at roughly 3.6mm per year. This means that by 2050, ocean levels could rise by 12 inches if action isn't taken. This would devastate coastal towns and cities across the globe, destroying peoples houses, businesses and land.
Furthermore, with an increase in global air and water temperatures, it will affect the ecosystems and biodiversity as we know it today. For many species, the climate where they live or spend part of the year influences key stages of their annual life cycle, such as migration, blooming, and reproduction. As winters have become shorter and milder, the timing of these events has changed in some parts of the country:
Earlier springs have led to earlier nesting for 28 migratory bird species on the East Coast of the United States.
Northeastern birds that winter in the southern United States are returning north in the spring 13 days earlier than they did in a century ago.
In a California study, 16 out of 23 butterfly species shifted their migration timing and arrived earlier.
As well as animals, humans will be forced to adapt further to the new climate. For example, we will have to change the locations that we live in, we will have to change the way we produce food and water with increased droughts. Our bodies will also have to adapt to the rising temperatures, as our current biology is only optimal for the current climate that we live in.