Isn’t climate change happening anyway?
Yes climate change is a natural process that is influenced by things such as volcanic eruptions and solar activity. Natural climate change occurs slowly over a very long period of time but human activity has increased the speed at which the climate is changing. Now there is a threat to many species of plants and animals including humans who cannot adapt to the rapidly changing environment.
Aren’t climate changes down to the sun and natural processes?
Much of the relatively small climate variability over the last 1,000 years can be explained by changes in solar output and occasional cooling due to major volcanic eruptions. However, measured solar activity shows no significant change in the last few decades while global temperatures have increased significantly. The increase in global temperature does in fact coincide with increases in CO2 output due to human activity since the industrial revolution and we know that carbon dioxide is one of the gases contributing to the greenhouse effect.
Is it too late to stop climate change?
The climate change that is occurring now is a result of our actions in the past. The work we do now will serve to reduce the damaging effects of climate change in the future. So although we are unable to stop climate change completely, we still have a responsibility to act now to prevent the most serious threats of climate change.
Can one person make any real difference?
Over 40% of carbon emissions in the UK are produced by our actions as individuals through activities like driving to work or using electricity in the home. There are many ways that an individual can reduce their energy use such as installing energy saving window glazing or installing insulation. If everyone makes a small change it can have a big impact on reducing carbon emissions.
Is it expensive to reduce my carbon footprint?
Many of the changes that you can make around the home can actually save you money! Turning the thermostat down by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10 percent and typically saves around £55 per year. Energy saving light bulbs last up to 10 times longer than ordinary bulbs, and using one can save you around £40. Upgrading to a condensing boiler and full heating controls could save up to £235 per year!
Click here for more information on energy saving techniques.
What is a carbon footprint?
A carbon footprint is the measure of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by our activities, which have an impact on the environment, and in particular, on climate change. This measurement is taken in equivalent metric tonnes of carbon dioxide, or tCO2e.
What is carbon offsetting?
Carbon offsetting is the act of balancing activities that cause damage to the environment by investing in projects that either reduce the amount of carbon emissions being released into the atmosphere or remove carbon that has already been released into the environment. There are various carbon offsetting schemes ranging from the use of renewable energy sources to planting trees.
What is a carbon credit?
A Carbon Credit is created when the equivalent of one metric tonne of carbon dioxide is removed from or prevented from being released into the atmosphere.
What is the Kyoto Protocol?
The Kyoto Protocol is the first ever agreement to keep track of how many emissions are produced in countries all over the world. Almost 200 countries met to decide how many greenhouse gases developed countries could produce. Each country was given permits equal to that amount.
Countries can also earn permits by doing other things that help reduce carbon pollution in our atmosphere. For example, a country could earn permits by growing forests because trees absorb carbon dioxide. Countries can choose whether or not they want to join the Kyoto Protocol.
What are carbon sinks?
A carbon sink is a place where carbon can be captured and locked away. Forests are natural carbon sinks and are a cost effective and efficient way to capture and store carbon for a lengthy period of time, where it can’t contribute to climate change.