Ensuring that your customers have a great experience is important to any business, as it’s the key to attracting and retaining customers. In the energy sector, it’s never been more critical. Here at UGP our Customer Service Team put customers at the heart of what we do to ensure that we not only leave our customers satisfied, we also ensure that we make the right decisions, for the long term.
As Customer Service Manager, the success of my team is built according to these top 5 customer services values:
Put the customer at the heart of every conversation: Our customers deserve the human touch. Be open, be honest and really understand what the customer wants before then discussing the most appropriate action. Be sincere and be human! By truly listening to the query, no matter how big or small, solutions can be always found. It’s important to remember that customers are contacting us to help us, or for us to help them. Customer Service is an attitude not just a department!
Be aware of the news! There’s a lot happening worldwide that is affecting everyone. It is important that sensitivity is shown. That the challenges people are facing are acknowledged and that solutions are found to suit all. Being aware of news both worldwide and locally leaves customers feeling understood. It’s likely that what has affected us as individuals has also affected our customers. By empathising and understanding, the customer will feel valued.
Ownership: There is nothing worse than being passed from pillar to post and having to repeat queries over and over to different call handlers. By taking ownership, customer trust is increased significantly. In particular, if our customer has a complaint, it’s important to own it, deal with the issue from start to finish and reassure the customer that things are getting sorted. Give points of contact, how to get in touch and offer a truly exceptional ownership experience for all customers.
Honesty: If a task is going to take a number of days, we let our customers know. Don’t over promise just to give the customer what they want to hear as it will cause you problems later down the line. Keeping promises is crucial. One of my big frustrations as a customer is if something is wrong, being told that the issue will be sorted quicker than it will be in reality. This only increases my frustration.
Embrace complaints: Things do wrong from time to time. It is important to acknowledge this, hold your hands up to any mistakes and tell the truth. Blaming a system or trying to get around issues by not acknowledging what the issue is will only lead to customers becoming more frustrated. If something has gone wrong, admit the error, speak to customers explaining why, and what is going to happen to fix it. Our customers will not always like the reason why things have gone wrong, but make every effort to fix the issue in a timely manner and the trust will grow.
When talking to customers in a B2B environment, it’s our customers business, income and livelihoods they are talking to us about. Challenges will be faced and our aim is to make contacting UGP the easiest and most pleasurable experience that it can be. Feedback on how we are doing is welcomed, whether good or bad. The personal touch makes a huge difference in customer service ratings, and I pride myself and my team on this. Our team has superb success rates; over 98% of queries resolved satisfactorily and on time. Our complaint resolution times are industry leading and I take great pride in how low our repeat complaints are.
Working for a company that embraces my own personal values makes my job enjoyable and rewarding on a daily basis.
2021 saw the unfortunate continuation of the covid pandemic which meant supplies were still interrupted and workforces struggled to operate as normal. However, many have also started to ‘learn to live’ with covid with a mass vaccination roll-out, so there is hope that 2022 may offer a gentle return to stability and the chance to focus on the future.
So what does 2022 have in store for a more environmentally sustainable future?
Plant Based Products Continue to Grow
Veganuary often brings about a surge in publicity for plant-based alternatives, new recipes and shifts in attitude towards food. However, 2022 is particularly significant and many fast-food franchises have made huge efforts to go plant based. Burger King has introduced the UK’s first plant-based alternative to chicken nuggets, McDonald’s has gone green with a plant-based burger and KFC have also launched a vegan version of their classic chicken burger. Energy Live News reported that by switching 10% of the world’s meat to plant-based food the ‘could be a saving of 176m tonnes of CO2 by 2030’ because Global consumption of meat reached 385 million tonnes in 2018, which translates to at least 1.7 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
The Energy Crisis
The story that dominated the latter half of 2021 and continues to remain current is the energy crisis and drastic calls for the Government to start stepping in and providing solutions for people and businesses. Many in the industry are urging the Government to start making changes. Octopus boss Greg Jackson has urged the government to ‘spread the cost of the energy crisis’, and that urgent action is required to halt “very high increases” on energy bills. Speaking on the Times Radio, Jackson said: “Unless action is taken, we will start to see those very, very high increases come through to the consumer market.” As global gas prices continue to rise leaving markets in trading turmoil, nearly one-third of Britons are afraid they will not be able to pay their bills this year. That’s according to a YouGov survey published in The Times which suggests 33% of people expected their fuel bills to become “unaffordable”.
A Drive in EV Cars
A new report from Zap-Map has unveiled less than 1% of electric vehicle (EV) drivers would go back to petrol or diesel cars. Driver satisfaction for EVs and plug-in hybrids was much higher than petrol or diesel cars, with the charged-up vehicles scoring 91/100, compared with just 74/100 for combustion vehicles. Transport Minister Trudy Harrison commented on the study: “These survey results show that drivers are becoming increasingly confident in making the switch to EVs and I hope this data encourages others to consider going electric as we work towards the UK’s ambitious net zero targets. “We’ve committed £2.5 billion to accelerate the rollout of zero-emission vehicles and charging infrastructure across the country, ensuring the transition is as simple as possible for motorists, as we take steps towards a greener transport future.” We are hoping this means that EV vehicles will become more available and accessible to the wider public so that more can make the switch.
A Rise in Solar Installations
Developing distributed solar capacity will be an objective for policy makers in many important markets around the world. China will continue its ongoing effort to increase dramatically the utilisation of distributed solar in its rural areas. Germany’s new coalition government has a target of installing 200 gigawatts of solar by 2030, which will rely heavily on residential solar resources. And distributed solar will remain the dominant model in Japan, Australia, Belgium, and Poland. In the coming year, policymakers and energy service providers around the world will also increasingly leverage the growing distributed solar fleet to support grid stability and provide flexibility. This means the US, for example, will continue to see distributed solar combined with storage and / or electric vehicle charging infrastructure. More Australian households will add storage to their rooftop solar systems to hedge against the rising cost of interconnection and lower solar electricity export tariffs and more countries will use distributed solar and energy storage to bring electricity services to disadvantaged communities.
Recycle or Re-use
Some of the bigger names in retail are making waves by implementing recycle schemes that reward. Boots are trialling a recycle scheme were you bring back empty bottles of products and you’re rewarded with points. Similarly H+M are allowing customers to drop off unwanted clothes or textiles from any brand and any condition in return for a store voucher. Don’t want to recycle? eBay have launched a campaign encouraging everyone to sell on any unwanted items instead of throwing them away or dumping them.
Renewable Energy Expands
Renewable energy was one of the big winners from COP26, including a ‘Breakthrough Agenda’ commitment to make clean power “the most affordable and reliable option” for all countries and to phase out coal. The IEA forecasts that the global renewable energy generation capacity will increase by 60% over the next 5 years. The UK is leading the way with its commitment to generate 100% of its power from renewable sources by 2035, including plans to ban coal by 2024. In its latest Contracts for Difference (CfD) round, the government has increased funding to £285 million.
Make The Switch Today!
Why not make 2022 the year you make your business more renewable? Speak to one of our team today on 0800 669 6697 or complete our Get A Quote form, it only takes a minute!
Whenever there’s a global summit, pledging to tackle the real issues of the world, I always take it with a pinch of salt. I don’t think I’m alone in my scepticism, given past government pledges and global agreements which have often fallen by the wayside, mere months down the road. This year’s COP26 seems to feel different. For the first time, climate is on the lips of people everywhere. From children to activists and, importantly, businesses.
As an Account Manager who had been talking to businesses about their energy and environmental impact for years, I have been following the news closely. Slowly, but surely, the tone of the conversations is beginning to shift. Cost savings are paramount, as always, but if not number 1, then the number 2 criteria for businesses now, is their impact on the environment. Be this from an altruistic origin, or whether, being seen as green and having those credentials will improve their business takings, either way is it a huge step forward. One which, I personally, am very happy to see.
One of the reasons I get satisfaction from my role here, is the real and evident action we’ve taken to do our bit. Not just pledges. We do not buy ANY electricity generated from fossil fuels. Each business we supply can be sure their electricity use is 100% renewable and that they have cut their carbon emissions significantly. We plant a tree for every new customer to further our positive impact and genuinely make a difference to businesses and their emissions every day.
Whilst this is very rewarding, it’s not everything we would hope a group of nation leaders to be able to achieve. Tree planting, by individuals or business, is simply not enough. The pledge to stop deforestation is incredibly positive, but there’s my scepticism again – who will be policing this?
A stop to logging is great if it does happen, but is there then a plan in place to re-wild the amazon and other depleted natural environments? We share this planet with miraculous creatures who are losing their home and food sources, purely because of human activities. Ignoring re-wilding is as bad as turning off the tap in a flood and not siphoning away any water.
There is hope though, a real glimmer of light, which might, this time, not be an illusion. Business and industrial energy use is the largest contributor to carbon emissions and climate change in the UK. One by one, businesses are choosing renewable and green energy sources for more reasons than price. The message is getting through, perhaps we have figures like Sir David Attenborough to thank? Either way at last it feels like real change is now taking place.
I believe that with further growth in renewable generation, more affordable green options and government incentives, there will be nothing in the way of a change to carbon free energy. The price of supply is no different, if not more competitive than brown energy. Green suppliers tend to have a good staff ethos, like UGP. Our staff clamour to go on our tree planting days to make their own difference in the landscape. This leads to an excellent, people-focussed service from a team with morals, not always easy to find in the energy market en mass.
Overall, cautious optimism is my current standing. The pledges made would create real change, not just in slowing the global temperature, but even the possibility of reversing that trend. Let’s hold onto hope of integrity and genuine commitment from these countries, to deliver what they have said. It may seem a long shot, but I’m hopeful. This is a beautiful and wondrous planet which we inhabit. Let’s work together to get it back to it’s former glory. Please?
Sally Rusbatch, UGP Account Manager.
Selecting a new energy supplier, particularly for large and multi-site businesses, is a key element in controlling a significant business spend category. Many factors including customer service, reputation, ease of switch, administration and additional added value services are all key considerations. In this blog we examine the five most important factors large and multi-site businesses should consider when choosing a new energy supplier.
In the years ahead, demonstrating your commitment to environmental sustainability across all areas of the business, from waste management to encouraging staff to cycle or walk to work, will be the one of the biggest areas of adjustment faced by UK organisations. Partnering with a 100% renewable energy supplier will form an essential part of demonstrating to your clients your green credentials. Alongside this the government’s future net zero targets will apply increasing pressure to organisations to take advantage of renewable energy suppliers, meaning they could be rewarded or penalised on their sustainable strategies.
Understanding the past to inform the present and future. Nearly every business across the country has been through extreme changes in consumption over the past 2 years. From the severe consumption reductions of the first national lock-down to rapid increases following the post-pandemic boom analysing your daily and annual consumption pattern over this period will give business leaders real-life analysis of how and where consumption can be reduced in the future. In turn this will assist in lowering unit rates and overall spend alongside assisting your overall sustainable strategy.
Average daily consumption graphs. Displaying variances between Summer and Winter usage, along with differences between weekday/ weekends.
3) Price/ Contract Structure
Understanding your aims as a business, growth plans, potential expansion, and attitudes to risk (and potential rewards) are all key factors in determining your optimum contract structure. Selecting the correct structure will give you control over your energy spend and through using a supplier who gives you direct market access ensure that you are able to mitigate cost increases in a rising market and take full advantage of falling bearish market conditions.
One hidden element when taking an energy contract is the cost of management and administration. This element should form a key component of the decision-making process, no more so than for multi-site operations. Addressing this has 2 main advantages. Aligning end dates with 1 single supplier will:
a) Give significant cost advantages when tendering. Business who are tendering significant volumes will see cost reductions compared to tendering multiple times throughout the year for smaller groups.
b) Reduce the time admin and finance departments spend processes invoices, dealing with multiple suppliers over different issues.
For example, Independent Vet Care, a key client of United Gas & Power has over 1000 sites and prior to becoming a client of UGP had different contract end dates, different bill dates and invoices being submitted randomly across the year so had become an administration nightmare. UGP submitted a full proposal that contained these key components;
One single, consolidated billing date and process
A portal that IVC could access directly for site or consolidated information
100% renewable power
Dedicated IVC resources for future account management, with direct line access
Smart meter installation across all sites
Full and visible management information
Aligned contract end dates for all sites
You can read the full case study by clicking here. Therefore you should look for energy companies who are prepared to give you access to a portal that gives you all your information and dedicated account management.
5) Direct Supplier/ Live Market Access
This means that you have access to the organisations trading floor and expertise when it comes to energy trading. In this respect you’ll get advice and foresight on what the market is doing and can often lock in great energy deal for up to 5 years in advance.
United Gas & Power work with many large and multi-site businesses and we have the experience and knowledge to handle even the most complex of requirements. If you want to discuss further please click here to request a quote or click here for more information.
Clean Air Day is the UK’s largest air pollution campaign, engaging thousands of people at hundreds of events, and reaching millions more through the media. Every year, air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK. The World Health Organisation and the UK Government recognise that air pollution is the largest environmental health risk we face today. Poor air quality causes both heart and lung diseases, is linked to low birth weight and children’s lung development and may even contribute to mental health issues. Therefore, this Clean Air Day the focus is on educating and informing in order to protect our future generations.
As a renewable energy provider we believe it is your responsibility to educate and inform your staff. Some ideas on how to achieve this are;
Improve employees understanding of air pollution.
Build awareness of how air pollution affects our health.
Explain the easy actions we can all do to tackle air pollution, helping to protect the environment and our health.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, business travel and the commuting of employees to and from the office was a major source of air pollution for most businesses. While home-working has become the norm for many companies and business travel has somewhat ceased temporarily, there are still proactive actions companies can incorporate now and in any return-to-work plans.
Consider whether any of the following might be prevalent in your business:
Health and wellbeing – the air pollution inside and outside of office buildings, factories or other corporate workplaces, where your employees and/or contractors work day-to-day.
Training – Have a selection of employees trained on eco-driving and anti-idling.
Employee commuting – How many of your employees that will drive to work using an ICE combustion engine?
Business travel – Can you reduce the amount of air and road travel for business meetings or work-related events?
For Clean Air Day itself you can encourage walking or cycling to work, flexible working, working from home or even car share. The official website has lots of resources including downloadable, printable pledge cards you can hand out to your employees and ask them to make a pledge such as walk more in an effort to help reduce air pollution!
One of the biggest changes you can make as a business is to switch to a renewable energy provider who is committed to helping reach net zero 2030.
Click here for a low cost no obligation renewable energy quote!
Since 1974, World Environment Day has been celebrated every year on 5 June, engaging governments, businesses and citizens in an effort to address pressing environmental issues. In the last few years we have seen what a dramatic effect we have on the planet and by making changes we can have a positive impact. Businesses now have the opportunity to set an example to their employees and inspire them to make positive changes.
Did you know?
Over 4.7 million hectares of forests – an area larger than Denmark – are lost every year.
Nearly 80 per cent of the world’s wastewater is discharged to our oceans and rivers without treatment.
Wetlands are being drained for agriculture, with some 87 per cent lost globally in the last 300 years.
Present in more than 180 countries, peatlands are vital, super-powered ecosystems. Though they cover only 3 per cent of the world’s land, they store nearly 30 per cent of its soil carbon.
The theme of this years’ world environment day is #GenerationRestoration.
Ecosystem restoration means preventing, halting and reversing this damage – to go from exploiting nature to healing it. This World Environment Day will kick off the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global mission to revive billions of hectares, from forests to farmlands, from the top of mountains to the depth of the sea.
How Can Businesses Get Involved?
If you have an outside area, encourage gardening and planting plants and flowers that are bee and bird friendly.
Arrange a litter pick around the workplace.
Introduce a recycling scheme.
Arrange a volunteer day to clear up a nearby riverbank or beach.
Raise money to support restoration or conservation initiatives.
Discourage single-use plastic and give your employees a branded water bottle – this would also help with brand awareness!
Have a green team that consistently arranges activities that help against climate change.
Above all, World Environment Day offers a global platform for inspiring positive change. It pushes for individuals to think about the way they consume; for businesses to develop greener models; for farmers and manufacturers to produce more sustainably; for governments to invest in repairing the environment; for educators to inspire students to take action; and for youth to build a greener future.
The single most important thing a business can do is switch to a renewable energy supplier.
Speak to one of our team today and find out what a difference switching to UGP can make.
Covid lock-down restrictions are beginning to lift, and we are welcoming more daylight into our days perhaps finally signalling the end of the pandemic. Schools have returned and we all seem to be bracing ourselves for the next stage of the Government’s roadmap. Whilst the last year has undoubtedly been difficult for people and businesses across the UK, there are some key lessons that we should be mindful of if we are to build a greener, more sustainable future.
During the first lock-down of March 2020 we witnessed a dramatic reduction in emissions, pollution and a significantly positive effect on the environment. The aftermath of the first major lockdown proved that we as humans can make a difference. Maps using data collected from NASA and European Space Agency satellites show how nitrogen dioxide, a dangerous gas released by burning fuel, has dissipated since the outbreak. “This is the first time I have seen such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area for a specific event,” Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre, said in a statement. Similarly, in Venice again thanks to initial lockdown measures the canals became the cleanest they have been in 60 years, and dolphins were spotted swimming in clearer water.
It’s unrealistic to expect that such low levels of emissions will remain as the world opens up again. Demands on certain industries are unlikely to fall and if anything, be on a larger scale in the effort to jumpstart economies globally. But if we can take one positive impact from recent events, it is that small changes to the way we live and behave can make a marked impact to the global fight on climate change.
Joe Biden has already shown the world that he is serious about environmental issues, one of his very first acts as president was to reinstate the US in the Paris Climate Agreement. Additionally, he has laid out in detail plans to make America an influential force in fighting climate change. There has, however, been speculation as to how he will be able to create jobs in the renewable sector when currently most of the worlds solar panels and wind turbines are manufactured in China. Therefore, we can only assume at this stage that plans are underway to bring manufacturing to America.
Closer to home, the recent budget announcement from Rishi Sunak has given some hope that the previously announced ‘build back green’ plan from Boris Johnson is coming to fruition. The budget has a huge focus on the renewable sector, with budget being allocated to energy projects in Scotland and Wales such as the Holyhead Hydrogen Hub and the Aberdeen Energy Transition Zone. Sunak also recapped on a previous pledge regarding offshore wind, saying “Offshore wind is an innovative industry, where the UK already has a global competitive advantage. So, we’re funding new port infrastructure to build the next generation of wind projects in Teesside and Humberside.” The scheme would see the government invest £160m in developing ports and infrastructure for offshore wind manufacturing and deployment.
With all of these factors considered we think there are a number of key learnings that we’d like to see remembered as we return to normality:
Switch to a Green Energy Provider
The single most impactful thing a business can do is switch to a green energy provider. We help our customers to reduce their carbon footprint and enhance their sustainability agendas by ONLY supplying great value 100% green power generated from wind, solar, hydro at no additional cost. Our rates are highly competitive, against renewable and non-renewable suppliers, and we’re confident we’ll save you money as well as help you do your part for the planet.
Drive less, walk more
Being forced to stay put saw many of us get back to nature and explore the many parks, forests and nature reserves the UK has to offer, even exploring the nearest ‘bit of green’ in walking distance has major health benefits. Walking regularly burns calories, strengthens the heart, lowers blood sugar, improves mood and can improve creative thinking.
It’s fair to say not everyone will want to swap all of their holidays abroad for staycations but having had to for the past year (when allowed) many have seen that the UK does have a great deal to offer for breaks and holidays. Just swapping one flight for one staycation will have a dramatic effect on your own personal carbon footprint!
As many of us have worked from home for the best part of an entire year access to something like printing has probably proved a little difficult for most. Consequently, many of us have had to think twice or even completely stop what we print, saving paper and the planet.
With covid restricting some imports and exports, many of us have been switching to local suppliers for our everyday essentials. Not only does this result in a greatly reduced carbon footprint, it also means you’re supporting local businesses and the economy as a whole.
With the combination of government’s proposals, green project budget allocations and everyone working together, we may just see a greener future after all. If you would like more information on how you and your business can build back greener then contact one of our advisors today on 0844 318 0044 or fill in this quick form.
Rishi Sunak recently delivered his second budget under the cloud of the coronavirus pandemic; his last ahead of the country hosting the COP26 UN climate talks. The UK Government’s Budget announcement has legislated for the creation of an infrastructure bank and green finance schemes that could benefit the power industry in the country. But what else does this mean for the UK’s renewable agenda and net zero target?
As part of wider “accelerated growth deals”, the chancellor said that energy projects in Scotland and Wales would benefit from the budget. These included the Holyhead Hydrogen Hub, the Aberdeen Energy Transition Zone, and the Global Underwater Hub, also in Aberdeen.
Aberdeen will also benefit from the North Sea Transition Deal, a government plan to incentivise the decarbonisation of its offshore industry. Trade body Oil and Gas UK said that the deal, expected to be implemented in the first half of 2021, would be “essential” to decarbonisation.
Directly following this, Sunak moved on to offshore wind development, recapping a previously announced pledge to develop the UK’s offshore wind sector. He said: “Offshore wind is an innovative industry, where the UK already has a global competitive advantage. So we’re funding new port infrastructure to build the next generation of wind projects in Teesside and Humberside.”
In what is being seen as one of the most significant parts of this years’ budget for climate action, Sunak announced that the UK’s net-zero goal will be added to the remit of the Bank of England, having become part of the government’s overall “economic policy objective”. The budget promises that the government will issue its first “sovereign green bond – or green gilt” in summer 2021, a move it had already announced last November. At least £15bn in government debt will be specifically earmarked for supporting “green objectives”, with further details of how it can be spent expected in June.
In another move trailed before the budget, Sunak also announced a “green retail savings product” commencing in summer 2021, which will “give all UK savers the opportunity to take part in the collective effort to tackle climate change”. The money raised will be spent according to the same rules as the government’s new green gilts.
A centrepiece for climate-focused government spending over the past year has been the “green homes grant”, which allows people to apply for vouchers to cover the cost of home insulation or installing low-carbon heating. The chancellor first announced the £2bn in grants for home-efficiency upgrades, as well as £1bn for improvements in public buildings, as part of his “green recovery” plans in July 2020, although his party’s election manifesto had previously promised £9.2bn for energy efficiency.
This was then given a boost in the prime minister’s 10-point plan published last November, when a further £1bn and an extra year was added to the existing scheme for home improvements. However, at the same time, stories emerged of a scheme beset by difficulties, with suppliers going unpaid and customers waiting months to take advantage of the grants.
After much speculation, reports surfaced in February that the government did not intend to roll over most of the unspent grants to the next financial year, effectively withdrawing £1bn in funding and leaving just £320m for 2021 to 2022.
On the announcement of an infrastructure bank, legal and business services firm DWF partner Darren Walsh said: “We welcome the Chancellor’s announcement to create the first ever UK Infrastructure Bank. We note that the first projects will cover port infrastructure, but we are hopeful that green energy projects will be prioritised to facilitate the enhancement of the Prime Minister’s ten-point plan for net-zero carbon and a drive towards our green revolution.
“We hope that nascent green technologies such as tidal and hydrogen are supported as well as seeing further development of onshore wind and solar PV. This is further great news for sponsors, developers, and investors and the entire low-carbon supply chain.”
The UK has legislated to make all new cars at least partly electric by 2030. Car leasing comparison website LeaseLoco CEO John Wilmot said: “The lack of any meaningful funding announcement by the Chancellor on the electric car switchover is disappointing.”
One action all businesses can take to further the UK’s progress towards a greener future is to switch to a renewable energy provider such as United Gas & Power. Speak to one of our account managers today; either call us on 0844 318 0044 or complete this quick form.
Last year we welcomed Joe Biden as the new president of America and discussed what it could possibly mean for the future of the global uptake of renewable energy. We were therefore thrilled to see Joe Biden moved to reinstate the US to the Paris climate agreement just hours after being sworn in as president, as his administration rolls out a cavalcade of executive orders aimed at tackling the climate crisis.
Biden is also set to block the Keystone XL pipeline, a bitterly contested project that would bring huge quantities of oil from Canada to the US to be refined, and halt oil and gas drilling at Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, two vast national monuments in Utah, and the Arctic national wildlife refuge wilderness. The Trump administration’s decision to shrink the protected areas of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante will also be reviewed.
The actions taken by Biden after being in the presidential office for mere hours speaks volumes of his intentions to tackle the climate crisis with the swift and strong force it sorely needs. President Trump set climate change at the very back of his priorities and as a result set America back also. However, Gina McCarthy, Biden’s top climate adviser, said Biden will in all reverse “more than 100” climate-related policies enacted by Trump.
Scientists and climate campaigners have welcomed the urgency voiced by Biden given the ever-worsening impacts of the climate crisis across the world. “Even if we can’t get new climate legislation, our executive branch already has many tools to act,” said Leah Stokes, an expert in environmental policy at the University of California. “The best time to cut emissions was decades ago; the second-best time is today.”
You can read our original article which discusses Biden’s environmental policies here.
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.