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Why we're tackling climate change

We know climate change is happening, and we know that it is caused by our actions.

The Earth's atmosphere is warming, faster than it probably ever has. In some cases weather patterns, climates and natural environments are changing quicker than wildlife or people can adapt.

So many of the world's biggest challenges, from poverty to wildlife extinction, are made more difficult by climate change. And things will get worse if we do nothing. But we can do something about it.

We have the knowledge and the technology to reduce our impact on the climate, and ease the pressures on the world's most vulnerable places, people and wildlife. We just need to make it happen.

Stephen Cornelius

"As environmental problems go, few are as big and complex as climate change – it is a fascinating and important issue to work on. Climate change is one of the biggest threats faced by our natural world and also a tough social and economic issue. It is something we can’t leave to future generations to clean up. I work with a great team in the UK and internationally to press policy-makers to make bold decisions, such as the UNFCCC Paris Agreement in 2015, and to embed climate risk in our conservation efforts."

Stephen Cornelius
Chief adviser for climate change

Climate change won’t just disappear

Global temperatures have been rising for over a century, speeding up in the last few years, and are now the highest on record. This causes negative impacts such as the melting of Arctic sea-ice, prolonged heat-waves and rising sea-levels.

We know why. We release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels for energy, farming, and destroying forests. These carbon emissions are causing the greenhouse effect, trapping heat and making the Earth warmer, faster than could happen naturally.

We know what needs to be done about it. We need to cut man-made greenhouse gas emissions drastically, phase out fossil fuels and move to renewable energy. We need to use less energy and be more efficient in the energy that we do use, and we need to tackle deforestation and eat less meat.