All the world’s major scientific bodies agree that the global climate is changing. Global temperature is rising quickly with the last decade being the hottest ever recorded. A changing climate affects the natural environment that supplies our basic requirements: sufficient and safe water, clear air, adequate food, tolerable temperatures and protection from the elements.
Although the climate has changed in the past as a result of natural forces like volcanic eruptions and variations in the sun’s intensity, scientists have studied all these natural processes and found that none can explain the sustained rise in global temperature we see today. The observed increase in global temperatures can only be explained by taking into account the impact of human produced greenhouse gases.
The global climate is changing because the amount of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, like carbon dioxide, is increasing. The burning of coal for electricity and oil for transport and clearing of forests, as well as other human activities, release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. As a result of these activities, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by more than 40 per cent since the industrial revolution. This substantial increase in carbon dioxide, as well as other greenhouse gases, is triggering large-scale changes in our world.
The climate change problem is well understood and so is the solution. To minimise the risks to our economy, environment and our way of life, we must substantially reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we produce. This will require a transition away from fossil fuels, like coal and oil, to cleaner forms of energy.