The climate is the weather we experience over a long period of time (around 30 years or more). The Earths climate has changed several times in the past as a result of natural events.
However, since 1900 the average temperature of the planet has risen by 0.75 degrees Celsius with a 0.4 degree Celsius rise since the 1970s. It is now widely accepted that these changes in our climate are being caused by human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels, that cause emissions of greenhouse gases. These gases, which include Carbon Dioxide (CO2) cause our atmosphere to be warmed at a greater rate.
Greenhouse gas report 2016-17
The Councils Greenhouse gas report for 2016 - 17 (PDF, 114KB) shows the total Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions for the past 8 years. This shows the emissions of CO2 from our gas and electricity consumption in Council buildings and schools as well as the fuel used in Council vehicles.
Climate change and the UK
Even a small change in the planets average temperature will have serious impacts. Rising temperatures will mean hotter summers and milder winters, higher sea levels and more frequent extreme weather events such as flooding.
- The 1990s were the warmest decade since records began in the 1660s. The 10 hottest years on record have happened since 1997
- Sea levels around the UK are 10cm higher than in 1900 and coastal waters are 0.7 degrees Celsius warmer than 30 years ago
- Severe floods have occurred in the UK in 1998, 2000, 2004, 2007 and 2009
Changes to our climate will have far reaching consequences for plants, animals and humans as well as our communities, our businesses, our local and global environments. It is predicted that temperatures are likely to rise between 1.4 and 6 degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century, depending on how much we can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
For more information about the impacts of climate change in the UK visit The UK Climate Impact Programme website.
Climate change and us
With climate change being a global problem with so many causes and effects it can be difficult for us as individuals to know whether there is anything we can do about it. The good news is that we all have the opportunity to tackle climate change in many aspects of our lives.
In general the biggest effects most people have on climate change is through the energy we use at home, our travel and the food we eat. We can all look for ways to reduce the amount of energy we use in our homes, travel smarter and make informed choices about the food we eat.
Cheshire East Council and climate change
Cheshire East Council is committed to tackling climate change. One of the first actions of the newly created authority in 2009 was to sign the "Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change", highlighting the Council’s commitment. The declaration is a voluntary pledge to address the issues of climate change. It represents a statement of commitment that any council can make to its own community.
These pages provide further information on the range of work that Cheshire East Council is carrying out in order to reduce the impact its services have on climate change ("mitigation") as well as adapting its services to the unavoidable effects of climate change ("adaptation").
Information is also available on the climate change programmes we carry out in partnership with other organisations as part of our leadership role to encourage others to tackle climate change.