Climate change refers to consistent and long-term changes in global temperatures and weather patterns. These changes can be observed by looking at the decades of climate data that scientists have collected since the mid-19th century. The data shows a steep and continued increase in global average temperatures, which scientists attribute primarily to human activities.
The main driver of climate change is the unprecedented amount of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) that human activities have released into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution. The largest source of human-caused GHG emissions come from the burning of fossil fuels for heat, electricity, and transportation.
GHGs contribute to global warming due to the greenhouse effect. This effect describes how GHGs in the Earth’s atmosphere radiate the sun’s energy towards the Earth, and therefore help it to maintain stable and hospitable temperatures. Higher concentrations of GHGs in the atmosphere result in more of the sun’s energy being radiated towards Earth, therefore increasing global temperatures and causing global warming.
The rate in which our planet is warming is alarming and the ill effects of these temperature increases are already being observed worldwide. Earth’s various systems exist in a delicate equilibrium; disruption to any of these systems will have a ripple effect on other systems. As Earth’s temperatures increase, these disruptions and their effects will become even more acute. This means there is no aspect of life on this planet that is immune from climate change-related disruption and damage.
To limit global warming to 1.5C with the least uncertainty, humanity has only 300 gigatonnes of CO2 left to pollute. To put that in perspective, in 2019, global energy-related CO2 emissions reached 33 gigatonnes.
This means we need to reach at least net zero CO2 emissions, very quickly, to experience the least dramatic climate change scenarios. Other greenhouse gas emissions will also require rapid reductions to secure a safer future.
As a business, the most important thing you can do to mitigate climate change is to achieve net zero emissions. FutureTrack is the perfect platform for achieving net zero emissions and transforming your organisational sustainability.