Strategies to minimise the impact of climate change

Sustainable energy resources

To meet increasing global demand for energy, while reducing the risk of either causing damage to the environment or contributing to global warming, it is important that:

  • Developing countries reduce deforestation and increase afforestation (planting trees).
  • Countries find new sources of energy and develop existing sources that are more sustainable than fossil fuels.
  • Industries and domestic consumers of energy use it more efficiently to prevent waste.
  • Developed countries start to switch from fossil fuels to alternative sources – solar, wind, tidal and hydro-electric power.

As developing countries start to use more energy they are encouraged to develop more sustainable sources of energy and to control their population growth so they use less.

The purpose of sustainability is to manage resources, or run projects or industries, so future generations can use the resources too. International concern has led many countries to try to reduce their use and consumption of carbon-based fossil fuels.

World summits enable governments to get together and discuss global strategies. Many governments signed the Kyoto Protocol, committing them to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon credits

This is a scheme aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It is based on the idea of the 'polluter pays' according to how much pollution they generate. The idea is that people are encouraged to pollute less as it will cost them less in carbon taxes. Yet these can be traded between countries which has allowed global polluters to offset their emmissions and thus the scheme has become largely ineffective.

Loch Lomond- hydroelectric power