The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has produced a strongly worded report on the need for urgent action to tackle the threat that man-made climate change poses to the planet.
The report goes into detail about the expected outcomes with respect to coastlines, wildlife, polar ice-caps, weather patterns and agriculture, comparing a scenario where climate change can be capped at 1/2 a degree higher than it is now (on average) compared to a whole degree higher, and allowing it to rise unchecked. The current world temperature averages at 1 degree Celsius higher than pre-industrial levels, and the Paris Climate Change Agreement pledged to keep temperatures between 1.5C and 2C above that level.
The Guardian newspaper gives a quick guide to the changes that would be seen under the different increases in temperature, and the UN warns that we have 12 years to limit the catastrophe, before it becomes almost impossible to restrict temperature rises to 1.5C.
Action that can be taken on a local level, by individuals, charities, businesses and local organisations, to help reduce the effects of climate change, are also given in a short article:
- take collective action
- eat less meat, especially beef,
- insulate homes and buildings to reduce energy consumption
- switch to renewable energy
- use green means of transport, or public transport
- reduce, reuse, recycle
- and vote.
As charities, the introduction of green options wherever possible must be considered, including sourcing sustainably, and future planning must also be put in place to account for extremes of weather, (snow, floods, heat waves), rises in sea level and food scarcity, if these are things which could impact your service users or the areas in which you operate.