Explaining Climate Change

25th March 2015 By ,   1 Comments

Environmentalists: “No matter what anyone says, climate change is leading to a warming world. As nice as the sun may feel on your back, it’s not a good thing and carbon emissions aren’t helping.”

The rest of us: “Scientific words mean nothing to me”.

Scenes of Reason: “Before you write this off get decoded…”

By Joel Davidge and David Saddington

Let’s start from the beginning….WHAT THE HELL IS CLIMATE CHANGE? 

The UK is committed to combating Climate Change:

The UK’s 2008 Climate Change Act was the world’s first legally binding climate change target.

The Aim: reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.

E-MISSIONS. WAIT WAH..? Emissions are the production and discharge of something, usually a gas or radiation. Climate Change science tells us that the production of certain “greenhouse gases” are leading to a rise in the world’s temperature.

WHY 80%? Because this is minimum reduction needed to stop the world’s temperature rising by 2 Degrees

2 Degrees may not seem much but it is agreed by many climate scientists that if Earth’s temperature does rise by more than this lots of bad stuff will happen. Think flooding, deadly heatwaves, extreme wet winters, forest fires. Bad times.

What’s the plan then?

A major part of the act is Carbon Budgets.

Carbon Budgets control the amount of carbon (major greenhouse gas) we emit. The first four carbon budgets are in law, committing UK emissions cuts of 50% by 2027. The UK is the first country to set legally binding carbon targets.

These budgets include:

– Getting dem farmers to reign in 9% of greenhouse gases created from agriculture and farming.

– Supporting businesses to reduce emissions and invest in more sustainable power sources i.e. wind power

– The Act also gave a huge boost to UK based research into climate change which resulted in the publication of the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment and National Adaptation Programme.

The UK is committed to supporting international action on Climate Change:

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol are international treaties (agreements) the UK are signed up to.

AIM: reduce greenhouse gas concentrations and bring them down to a level that will prevent humans screwing up the atmosphere. 196 countries are signed up and are required to submit regular inventories of emissions.

The UN hold annual Conference of Parties (COP) to see how the proposals are being put into action.

DECEMBER 2015:  COP21 or the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, will attempt to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate change, locking in the target of keeping global warming below 2°C.

The European Union has also just pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030, a target which will hopefully be approved in Paris. This is ambitious as at presently they are on track to achieve only a 14% reduction. 

Is this enough?

A lot of business leaders and politicians are critical about emission reduction targets as they fear it will be bad for business. However, the past two years have been the first time where the global economy has expanded but CO2 emissions have slowed down.

In other words: industry and business is on the rise, but pollution isn’t rising as fast. This shows that economic recovery and reducing carbon emissions can work side by side. Good times for now I guess?

Leeds Uni Are Having None Of It.

They say UK emissions are actually going up because the government figures don’t take into account pollution from goods imported from other countries.

Their Summary: The UK needs to do more, and faster. To account for the extra pollution we would need to cut down UK emissions by 2040 – ten years before the original target. Oh dear…

The conference in Paris this year is the closest the world will has got to an legally binding international agreement.

As major producers of emissions causing the current problems, the UK, the rest of the EU and the USA will be under pressure to provide assistance to developing countries to help cut their emissions.

What Do I Do?

A whole bunch of stuff you can learn for yourself on your own time. BUT, there is a pretty cool worldwide event happening this Saturday called EARTH HOUR, which encourages you to use your power to change climate change. For an hour between 8.30-9.30am Earth Hour suggests you turn OFF all power and just embrace the natural world. Candle light dinner is in my calendar.

Here’s hoping that we just blew your brains with how serious this is and actually helped you to understand it.


1 Comment:

  1. […] EXPLORE: What are the UK’s aims regarding Climate Change? […]

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