Global warming causes the gradual heating of the Earth’s surface, oceans and atmosphere, and is caused primarily by the burning of fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Global warming is already having a measurable effect on the planet – the polar ice sheets are melting, sea levels are rising, and there are obvious increases in average temperatures all across the world. Scientists warn that if we fail to keep global warming from exceeding 1.5°C, then there will be devastating environmental consequences on our planet.
5-step plan to avoid exceeding 1.5°C
Scientists have devised a 5-step plan to prevent global warming from exceeding the preferred target of 1.5°C. This includes:
- Global emissions of CO2 need to decline by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030.
- Renewables need to provide up to 85% of global electricity by 2050.
- Coal usage should be reduced to close to zero.
- Up to seven million sq km of land will be needed for energy crops.
- Achieve global net zero emissions by 2050.
How you can help
The world cannot meet its target without changes by individuals, and lifestyle changes make a big difference. It’s time to take responsibility for our planet and join the fight against climate change! Here are some things you can do to help:
1. Use renewable energy
Clean renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, have the potential to replace conventional fossil fuels and reduce the carbon footprint of energy generation. You could look at installing solar panels on your property to generate your own electricity, or switch to a green energy provider.
Recycling ensures that less energy is used in the production, transportation, and disposal of products, and means that less waste ends up in landfills. As recycling saves energy, it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which helps to tackle climate change. Ensure that you are properly recycling your waste to reduce your carbon footprint.
3. Reduce fuel usage
Reducing the amount you drive is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. You should opt to drive electric cars, and walk or cycle short distances. If it’s necessary to drive to work, then try car sharing – this is good for the environment and saves you money. Working from home or video conferencing instead of business travel is another great way to save on fuel usage.
4. Cut your energy usage
Reducing the amount of electricity, you use will lower environmental harm, whilst also saving you money on energy costs. When you’re not using something, just turn it off – this includes computers, lights, the television and so on. Spending less time on electronics and getting rid of any unnecessary gadgets, is another great way to reduce your electricity usage. You should always try and purchase appliances with good energy ratings, or replacing current appliances with more energy efficient models if possible. For instance, a front-loader washing machine is far kinder to the environment than top loaders as they use less power and water. If you’re a homeowner, having an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is compulsory, so checking in with a qualified energy accessory is a good starting point to make your home more energy efficient. The experts at ‘EPC for You’ state that having an EPC in place helps people to see what the current energy efficiency rating is for their property and it can also provide information and advice about what improvements should be made.
5. Use less heating and air conditioning
Properly managing your home temperature is another great way to cut your energy usage. Draught-proof your home by making sure that doors and windows are properly sealed – you can buy draught excluders or window seals very cheaply. This prevents cold air from coming into your home in colder months and reduces the need to increase thermostat temperatures. In hotter months, you should consider installing ceiling fans, instead of air conditioning – these are much cheaper and have far less impact environmentally.
6. Reduce water usage
Speak to your local council about installing a rainwater tank – rainwater is ideal for watering your garden and will save you both energy and money on water bills. According to the experts at Tanks for Everything, high quality water tanks can be used in either a residential or commercial premises, and is an excellent way to store water. You should also compare water efficiency labels on appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, showers and toilets, and try to purchase appliances with the highest ratings for water efficiency.
In order to halt the irreversible damage caused by climate change, it’s important that we prevent global warming from exceeding the target temperature of 1.5°C. The world cannot meet its target without changes by individuals, and lifestyle changes make a big difference. It’s time to take action and join the push to improve our planet.