Responses to climate change

Energy

In order to reduce the impacts of climate change, countries need to reduce their carbon footprint. One of the best ways to achieve this is to generate energy (electricity and heat) through renewable sources instead of using non-renewable sources. The graph shows Wales has steadily been increasing the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources. The compound bar graph shows that wind energy produces the highest percentage.

Bar graph showing the amount of electricity generated in Wales from renewable sources between 2003 and 2011.

Transport

One of the best ways to reduce our carbon footprint is to change the way we travel. Using public transport instead of petrol/diesel cars is a more efficient and cleaner way to travel. Alternatively, cycling and walking are the most effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint. New cycle ways and cycle hire schemes encourage many people to take up this healthy and cheaper transport option. The Keep Cardiff Moving scheme promotes cycling and walking by providing maps, planners and live road restrictions, all of which are purposely designed to discourage people from using cars in the city.

Around the home

There are many techniques and technologies which can be implemented within our homes to help reduce our carbon footprint. These homes are called sustainable homes and in some regions of the UK new sustainable communities have now been developed.

The many ways a home can be eco-friendly or sustainable.

Waste

Managing our waste in a more sustainable way will also help reduce our carbon footprint and therefore reduce the impacts of climate change. Much of our waste is sent to landfill sites, which release large quantities of methane into our atmosphere. We should, instead, be recycling and re-using materials. The packaging of our products must also be designed so that all waste can be re-used or recycled. Composting is another way to reduce our waste around the home.

Government intervention

Since the 1992 Kyoto Protocol, nearly all countries of the United Nations (UN) have actively tried to reduce their carbon emissions and therefore slow the effects of climate change. While some countries have been more successful than others, it is largely recognised that such agreements are a vital way to reduce the impacts of climate change.

The Paris Agreement 2016

The first of its kind in history, this deal unites all the world's nations in a single agreement on tackling climate change. Nearly 200 countries coming to an agreement on the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions is regarded by many as an achievement in itself, and has been hailed as ‘historic’.

In 2017, President Trump pulled America out of the agreement, which may have serious consequences, since the USA is one of the biggest emitters of CO2.

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