Climate Change: Yes, it’s Still a ‘Thing’

UGP Examines what climate change means today

Thirty years ago, the potentially disruptive impact of heat-trapping emissions from burning fossil fuels and rain forests became front-page news. It had taken a century of accumulating science, and a big shift in perceptions, for that to happen. However, even today many are fighting for climate change to get the attention it so desperately needs.

In the 1990’s The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produced it’s First Assessment Report. It concluded that temperatures had risen by 0.3-0.6C over that last century, that humanity’s emissions are adding to the atmosphere’s natural complement of greenhouse gases, and that the addition would be expected to result in warming. That year there was severe drought and heat in the United States and vast fires in the Amazon rain forest and in Yellowstone National Park. The outline of a solution had been forged just one year earlier as the world’s nations agreed on the Montreal Protocol, which set steps to eliminate certain synthetic compounds imperilling the atmosphere’s protective ozone layer.

In recent years, thanks to pioneering work by organisations like Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion, World Wildlife Fund and many more climate change has hit the headlines in a big way, from viral campaigns to protests, action is being taken to give the world a voice. In addition, figures like David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg have delivered powerful speeches and impressive, emotive documentaries to hopefully make everyone think carefully about how their actions effect the climate we live in.

Evidence that irreversible changes in Earth’s climate systems means we are in a state of planetary emergency, leading climate scientists warn. A cascade of tipping points could amount to a global tipping point, where multiple earth systems march past the point of no return. Such a collapse of Earth’s systems could lead to “hothouse earth” conditions with a global temperature rise of 9 degrees F (5 degrees C), sea levels rising 20 to 30 feet, the complete loss of the world’s coral reefs and the Amazon forest, and with large parts of the planet uninhabitable.

For example, the slow collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet appears to be in progress. The latest data shows that the same thing might be happening to part of the East Antarctic ice sheet, says Lenton, a climate scientist at University of Exeter in Southwest England. If both were to melt, then sea levels could rise by 21 feet (7 meters) over the next few hundred years. Therefore, countries only have only a limited time in which to act if the world is to stave off the worst effects of climate change.

Strangely enough the covid pandemic may have helped climate change, the coronavirus pandemic has shaken our sense of invulnerability and reminded us that it is possible for our world to be upended in ways we cannot control. It has also delivered the most significant economic shock since the Great Depression. In response, governments are stepping forward with stimulus packages designed to reboot their economies. Plans have now been unveiled to ‘build back greener’ paving the way to help stop climate change.

The Government in the UK has announced that businesses are set to benefit from £134 million investment, in order to build back green. The concept of ‘build back green’ is one that many companies and even individuals are happy to back. Since the announcement over 1,069 ground-breaking clean growth projects have requested funding. This clearly demonstrates that the message is sinking in and many want to do their bit to help save the planet.

UGP believe that the role businesses have to play in protecting our planet for future generations is fundamental and the single, most impactful change that you can make as a business is to switch your energy contract to a renewable energy supplier. Contact us today on 0844 318 0044 or complete our 3 second form by clicking here and learn how by making this simple switch you are helping to save the planet.

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