Climate change is a big problem. And, judging by the findings of a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it’s a bigger and even more pressing problem than we ever imagined.
The world is warming up and playing havoc with Earth’s delicate eco-system. And so ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, and we’re witnessing a growing number of natural disasters across the globe, from damaging storms to deadly floods and devastating droughts.
As if that wasn’t enough, a report from the IPCC is claiming the climate change targets agreed as part of the Paris Accord don 't go far enough, and we’ve even less time to turn things around than previously thought.
The Paris Accord, also known as the Paris Agreement, or Accord de Paris, to give it its French moniker, is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to deal with all aspects of climate change, including greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance.
The agreement, which presents an action plan to limit global warming 'well below' 2°C, was reached on December 12, 2015, and is in place to cover the period from 2020 onwards.
But while nations across the globe are currently working to cap global warming at no more than 2°C, and ideally hold temperature rises to 1.5°C, the reality is we’re not acting quickly enough and are currently on track to limit global warming to about 3°C.
And a 3°C would be and absolute disaster, as this video shows.
The IPCC report, entitled simply Global Warming of 1.5°C, gives a stark warning of what we need to do and when we need to do it – in short, we need to cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 45% below 2010 levels by 2030.
This means we’ve only 12 years to make the necessary adjustments to give ourselves a chance of reaching net zero emissions by 2050, at which point we’ll also need to rely on negative emission technology to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
Another key finding of the report is that that every bit of warming matters, so every fraction of a degree we can knock off the global thermostat benefit us all – that’s why we all have to take the fight home with us.
We all use a lot of energy between us – across the EU, buildings consume 40% of overall energy and are responsible for 36% of total CO2 emissions. In the UK, emissions from households’ fossil fuel and electricity use are forecast to rise by 11% by 2035, compared to 2015 levels.
So we all need to be more energy efficient to help do our bit for the planet – here are a few simple steps you can take to save energy and save money.
For more useful energy saving tips, check out our Energy Saving Advice guide.
And for more information on boiler replacement, home insulation, or solar panel installation – a way to both save energy and make money – check out our energy efficiency pages.
Although the fight against global warming starts at home, it certainly doesn’t end there.
If you’re a car owner, try to cut your weekly journeys by car sharing, switching to public transport, walking or cycling, or even working remotely, if possible – this will cut help cut your travel costs, reduce road congestion, and cut emissions.
And, if you’re in the market for a new motor, consider a more energy efficient vehicle, preferably a fully electric or hybrid model.
There are also a number of ways you can take on climate change in the workplace, outlined in the short video below.
Click here to run an energy price comparison, and see if you could be paying less for your gas and electricity.