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Our planet is warmer now than at any point in the past 1,000 years, and levels of planet-warming greenhouse gases have rocketed in the past 100 years. This is largely due to humans burning coal, oil and gas, and cutting down forests. 


Our planet is warmer now than at any point in the past 1,000 years, and levels of planet-warming greenhouse gases have rocketed in the past 100 years. This is largely due to humans burning coal, oil and gas, and cutting down forests. 


We know that we are living through a climate crisis, a mass extinction and an era of normalised pollution that harms our health. The urgent question is now: what do we do about it? What are the solutions to these problems?


In a series of UN reports, thousands of scientists and government reviewers agreed that limiting global temperature rise to no more than 1.5°C would help us avoid the worst climate impacts and maintain a livable climate. Yet policies currently in place point to a 2.8°C temperature rise by the end of the century.

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If we don't take action the planet will continue to heat up. Each degree of warming will bring more extreme weather, placing communities across the world at risk of wildfires, floods and droughts.


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Total Energy Supply by source -  United Kingdom

Source: International Energy Agency, World Energy Balances 2022

Energy accounts for over two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions. This means energy must be at the heart of any solution.


There is no time to lose. Analysis by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) clearly shows us that global emissions need to be reduced to net-zero within the next few decades to avoid a dangerous increase in global temperatures. The coronavirus pandemic lead to  a drop in emissions, but that came at an unacceptable human and economic cost – and emissions are  rebounding as economies reopen.


The economic recovery following the 2008 global financial crisis brought with it the biggest jump in emissions in history. The world cannot afford to repeat that mistake. In order to reach our global climate and sustainable energy goals, we need to quickly put emissions into sharp structural decline. This requires a dramatic acceleration in the transitions to clean, sustainable energy that are already underway in many countries and industries.


The good news is we already have affordable, reliable technologies that can put the peak in global emissions behind us and start the drive down to net zero. The spectacular rise of renewable technologies like solar panels and wind turbines in recent years has shown us what is possible. Deployed quickly and on a major scale, the clean energy technologies we have at our disposal right now can bring about the kind of decline in energy-related emissions that would put the world on track for our longer-term climate goals..


Decarbonising entire economies means tackling sectors where emissions are especially difficult to reduce, such as shipping, trucks, aviation, heavy industries like steel, cement and chemicals, and agriculture. This will require the rapid development of many technologies that are still in their very early stages today – some of them are barely out of the laboratory.


The net-zero challenge calls for a step change in technology innovation in critical areas such as enhancing energy efficiency, making low-carbon electricity the main source for heating buildings and powering vehicles, capturing, storing and utilizing carbon dioxide before it escapes into the atmosphere, realising the potential of clean hydrogen across many industries, and massively expanding the use of sustainable bioenergy.


Today, overall investment in clean energy innovation is increasing, but only gradually – far too slowly to meet our challenges head on. Furthermore, the coronavirus pandemic is threatening to reduce funding for vital research and development efforts. Governments and the private sector both have critical roles to play in making sure investment in clean and sustainable energy innovation increases rather than declines at this pivotal moment.

See our 'Get inspired' section for more information and ideas.

Transport and Travel

The transport sector, including all modes, accounts for about 22% of global CO2 emissions. Further to these emissions, there are environmental impacts unique to transportation such as the procurement, refining, and distribution of fossil fuels and noise emitted by transport operations with conveyances and terminals. The growth of passenger and freight mobility has expanded the role of transportation as a source of emission of pollutants. Total emissions are generally a function of the emission factor of each transport mode than their level of activity, which implies a variety of environmental impacts. These impacts fall within three categories:


  • Direct impacts. The immediate consequence of transport activities on the environment where the cause and effect relationship are generally clear and well understood. For instance, noise and carbon monoxide emissions are known to have direct harmful effects.


  • Indirect impacts. The secondary (or tertiary) effects of transport activities on environmental systems. They are often of a higher consequence than direct impacts, but the involved relationships are often misunderstood and more challenging to establish. For instance, particulates, which are mostly the outcome of incomplete combustion in an internal combustion engine, are indirectly linked with respiratory and cardiovascular problems since they contribute, among other factors, to such conditions.


  • Cumulative impacts. The additive, multiplicative or synergetic consequences of transport activities. They consider the varied effects of direct and indirect impacts on an ecosystem, which are often unpredictable. Climate change, with complex causes and consequences, is the cumulative impact of several natural and anthropogenic factors, in which transportation plays a role.



Besides their significant socioeconomic benefits, transportation systems have environmental externalities. Through the emissions from combustion of fossil-derived fuels, transportation systems contribute to degraded air quality, as well as a changing climate. Transportation also leads to noise pollution, water pollution, and affects ecosystems through multiple direct and indirect interactions. With the continuous growth in transportation, increasingly shifting to high-speed transportation modes, these externalities are expected to grow.


Surface transport generates the biggest share of UK emissions, accounting for 22% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Climate Change Committee and Willis, 2020). Cars comprise 13% of total GHG emissions, vans 4% and HGVs 4%, so we can all play our part in moving to hybrid, plug in or 100% electric vehicles, walking more and taking public transport.


By 2030 nearly 50% of vehicles will need to be electric for the UK to meet its climate commitments according to the Climate Change Committee forecast.

See our 'Get inspired' section for more information and ideas.

Waste and Recycling

The unprecedented global growth in production and consumption over the last 200 years, made possible by major break-throughs in science and technology, has led to substantial improvements in the lives of billions of people in terms of both life expectancy and life satisfaction. We live in a fast-paced world where things change rapidly, goods are designed to become obsolete so that they will be replaced sooner, thus putting more pressure on resources like energy, water, land and the natural environment. This is at the heart of global warming.

Transport and Travel
Waste and Recycling

Climate change is a symptom of a deeper modern-day problem of overconsumption which demands more mining of natural resources, manufacturing of goods and greater offerings of services to the modern society we live in.  At the heart of these highly polluting and climate unfriendly sectors lie human beings who demand cars, airplanes, electricity, large offices and homes, telecommunication services, technologies, entertainment, fast food and so on. These consumption-related carbon emissions are fueled by a growing consumerism culture. However, carbon emissions are seen as produced by industries without recognizing the role that people make in driving production through consumer patterns. This also results in a missed opportunity to challenge consumers to demand sustainably produced goods and services that will require industries to relook at their production processes and make them less carbon-intensive.

What is required for Sustainable Consumption to be achieved?


Behavioural Change

We cannot solve the problem with the same mindset that created it in the first place. Overconsumption has been a key cause of the global climate change challenge but change in consumers’ patterns are not apparent


Transformational action

Sustainable consumption requires transformational action on the part of the consumer that will result in a fundamental change in the way that goods and services are produced and consumed. It is incumbent upon society itself to look for new and transformative ways in which consumers think more carefully about the materials that are used to make products, where these products were made, how they were made, packaged, transported; how they are prepared, how they are consumed and disposed of. The life-cycle analysis of products is a very key issue.

Producer responsibility

Producers have a huge responsibility to ensure that their products are sustainably produced, durable and long lasting. Nowadays, consumers are bombarded by a flood of cheaply produced and available products, made out of petroleum-based materials that cannot be reused, repaired or fixed. Many of these products cannot even be recycled or upcycled for other uses. Landfills around the world are overflowing with products that continue to use up the limited vacant land needed for housing and food production. Industries must consider cradle-to-grave practices where their products do not end up in landfills but can be reclaimed back into their production processes.

Consumer Education and Awareness

Consumer education is critical to ensure sustainable consumption. Producers should be obliged to make information about their products public so that the consumers can make responsible choices.  Nowadays, responsible and conscious consumers want to know about production processes, origins of the products, materials used, farming practices and so on. Having this information enables the consumer to make responsible choices and enable them to use their buying power to influence the way products are made. This would make producers rethink their ethical production practices and introduce these practices into their branding.




Unprecedented changes in climate and biodiversity, driven by human activities, have combined and increasingly threaten nature, human lives, livelihoods and well-being around the world. Biodiversity loss and climate change are both driven by human economic activities and mutually reinforce each other. Neither will be successfully resolved unless both are tackled together. This is the message of a workshop report, published in 2021 by 50 of the world’s leading biodiversity and climate experts.


The report finds that previous policies have largely tackled biodiversity loss and climate change independently of each other, and that addressing the synergies between mitigating biodiversity loss and climate change, while considering their social impacts, offers the opportunity to maximize benefits and meet global development goals.

Among the most important available actions identified in the report are:


Stopping the loss and degradation of carbon- and species-rich ecosystems on land and in the ocean, especially forests, wetlands, peatlands, grasslands and savannahs; coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, salt marshes, kelp forests and seagrass meadows; as well as deep water and polar blue carbon habitats.


Restoring carbon- and species-rich ecosystems. restoration is among the cheapest and quickest nature-based climate mitigation measures to implement – offering much-needed habitat for plants and animals, thus enhancing resilience of biodiversity in the face of climate change, with many other benefits such as flood regulation, coastal protection, enhanced water quality, reduced soil erosion and ensuring pollination.


Increasing sustainable agricultural and forestry practices to improve the capacity to adapt to climate change, enhance biodiversity, increase carbon storage and reduce emissions. These include measures such as diversification of planted crop and forest species, agroforestry and agroecology. Improved management of cropland and grazing systems, such as soil conservation and the reduction of fertilizer use, is jointly estimated by the report to offer annual climate change mitigation potential of 3-6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.


Enhancing and better-targeting conservation actions, coordinated with and supported by strong climate adaptation and innovation. Protected areas currently represent about 15% of land and 7.5% of the ocean. Positive outcomes are expected from substantially increasing intact and effectively protected areas.


Eliminating subsidies that support local and national activities harmful to biodiversity – such as deforestation, over-fertilization and over-fishing, can also support climate change mitigation and adaptation, together with changing individual consumption patterns, reducing loss and waste, and shifting diets, especially in rich countries, toward more plant-based options.


What can i do to support better biodiversity?

See our 'Get inspired' section for tips and ideas.

Sustainale Food

Sustainable Food

It is impossible to separate our food production, processing and distribution from our environment. Unfortunately, the industrial or “conventional” way of producing food causes large-scale environmental degradation.


Monocropped fields require chemical fertilizers and pesticides that run off into soil and waterways. Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), also known as factory farms, result in excess animal waste that pollutes soil, water and air. These methods of food production use finite resources without replenishing them.


In addition, the way we produce and consume food contributes to global climate change, the effects of which exert a huge impact on the food system. Drought, flood, extreme heat and extreme cold are already affecting crops.


But new advances in sustainable agriculture are rooted in regenerative practices based on a whole ecosystem approach. They invest in the natural environment, rather than depleting it, building soil health, clean water systems and biodiversity. The sustainable approach also reduces industrial farming emissions, building environmental resilience, adapting both food production and the land to climate change.

Facts about Food


➜ Food accounts for over a quarter (26%) of global greenhouse gas emissions1

➜ Half of the world’s habitable (ice- and desert-free) land is used for agriculture;70% of global freshwater withdrawals are used for agriculture

➜ 78% of global ocean and freshwater eutrophication (the pollution of waterways with nutrient-rich pollutants) is caused by agriculture

➜ 94% of mammal biomass (excluding humans) is livestock.

➜ This means livestock outweigh wild mammals by a factor of 15-to-1.

Food, therefore, lies at the heart of trying to tackle climate change, reducing water stress, pollution, restoring lands back to forests or grasslands, and protecting the world’s wildlife.


Check out our ‘Get Inspired’ area for ideas on how you can positively impact through your choices.

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