The Current State of Climate Change

The ever-pressing issue of climate change has reached unprecedented importance in the global agenda. Far from an elusive phenomenon that was surrounded by scientific obscurity a mere 60 years ago, it is now firmly recognized as ‘the long-term alteration of temperature and typical weather patterns in a place’ caused by ‘largely human activity’. With governments exerting newfound efforts to tackle climate change, the impact of this emergency requires more efficient measures and compliance.

The UK government itself, in legacy of the Conservative Party’s manifesto promise of 2019, has recognised the importance of this issue. The Climate Change Act 2008 (2050 Target Amendment) Order 2019 reaffirms the UK’s commitment to tackling climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 100%. As ‘the first G7 country to legislate for net-zero emissions’ ‘it shows…that the UK still wants to be a world leader on reducing carbon emissions’. To complement this, the government hopes to introduce more localised policies, such as a Deposit Refund Scheme to encourage recycling. This goal will be further facilitated through growing distributed energy trends, such as the Government’s plans ‘to decarbonise cars and vans’ and utilise electric vehicles by 2030. Though such steps are encouraging, they may not be enough.

There is a growing understanding that ‘the ideal solution to the climate crisis would be to go beyond net zero…to restore the climate’. After witnessing the effects of reduced human activity in 2020, there is an increased pressure to further the goals we already have in place. While this approach, especially from a centralised perspective, may be more daunting, we may already be on this trajectory after the implications of the politically appreciative, financially sensitive, and climate mitigating 2015 Paris Agreement. The consensus, however, is that climate change must be tackled from all perspectives and at all levels.

 

This article was written on the 21st of March 2021.