There is good scientific evidence to show the climate is changing because of emissions of greenhouse gases resulting from human activity.
The bulk of emissions derive from our demand for energy. The largest contributor is carbon dioxide (CO2), emitted when fossil fuels are burnt to meet those demands. There are also other emissions attached to industrial processes and agriculture.
To limit the most damaging impacts of climate change, we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally.
There are significant benefits of the UK acting now to reduce its emissions:
- the world has committed to global action on climate change. By reducing its own emissions, the UK is supporting wider international efforts.
- in a future world where greenhouse gases are restricted, the cost of emitting those gases (i.e. carbon price) will be high. Early action to reduce emissions – here and elsewhere – can help reduce future costs.
- investment in and development of low-carbon technologies will put the UK at the forefront of new and expanding global markets.
The Climate Change Act (2008) made the UK the first country to establish a long-term legally binding framework to cut carbon emissions. It contains a target requiring emissions reductions of 80% by 2050. A wider legal landscape also exists, spanning the UK, the EU and globally, to address climate change.
But it will take more than just legislation to ensure we tackle the problem. Change will involve a combination of new technologies, processes and human behaviour.
More information can be found on the Committee on climate change website.
Greenhouse gas report 2016-17
The Councils Greenhouse gas report for 2016 - 17 (PDF, 243KB) 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.