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Find out more about climate change
Climate change is like eating a slap-up meal then handing the bill to the world’s poor
- Ricardo Navarro, El Salvador
Climate change is the greatest challenge facing humanity. But it is not just an environmental issue, it is a development issue, and a global justice issue.
It is our excessive carbon emissions that are driving climate change. Rich countries are responsible for almost three quarters of global emissions. But it is poor countries that are bearing the brunt of the impact. Hundreds of millions face drought, floods, starvation, disease and death.
WDM is calling on the UK government to take action to reduce the UK’s emissions and show the rest of the world that it can be done. WDM is campaigning to stop climate injustice.
For more info all of our climate change briefings and reports are also online.
150,000 people are already dying each year because of climate change. The poorest in the world are the most affected by climate change yet they are the least responsible.
Flooding: Vast areas of land will become submerged as sea levels rise with increasing temperatures. Countries such as Bangladesh are already experiencing extreme flooding.
Drought: As temperatures increase droughts worsen. Droughts will endanger the food supply of hundreds of millions of people.
Disease: With temperatures on the rise, warmer wetter weather will increase the number of mosquitoes which spread diseases such as malaria. Malaria is increasing in Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya as a result of a changing climate.
Rich countries, like the UK, owe their prosperity to decades of overuse and reliance on fossil fuels and are historically responsible for 70 per cent of manmade carbon emissions in the atmosphere. Our whole way of life is based on burning things like coal, oil and gas. We burn them for our cars and planes, our heating, our factories and for electricity. But it doesn’t have to be like this. Rich countries have a moral responsibility to lead the way towards a low carbon economy.
Climate change is happening but we can stop it becoming catastrophic. This means keeping the increase in average global temperature to less than 2°C. Internationally an agreement is needed to ensure that, at the very least, this goal is met. Following a campaign for a climate change bill, the UK government has agreed to reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.
But the government seems fixed on market based solutions to get us out of the problem – like carbon trading. But we cannot buy our way out of the effects of climate change. To effectively tackle climate change we need our government to lead the way in reducing emissions, showing the rest of the world that it can be done.
WDM is calling on the UK government to:
- Reduce emissions in the UK by stopping high carbon projects like Kingsnorth coal power station and Heathrow airport expansion, and investing in renewable energy.
- Provide funding and technology transfer to developing countries so they can fight poverty and develop in a low carbon way.
- Support far-reaching targets to reduce global emissions at the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen in 2009.
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