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How can you reduce your carbon footprint?

The overwhelming body of scientists believes that global warming is real. Most of it is being driven by the burning of fossil fuels for electricity, heating, transport and food production, which releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere at a faster rate than they can be reabsorbed by the oceans, trees, etc.

 

Carbon dioxide typically remains in the atmosphere for over a hundred years and is difficult to remove. This has already caused a rise in global average temperature of about 1 degree Celsius since the 1880’s, and is due to rise to over 3 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, if present trends continue.

In some parts of the world, especially near the North Pole, the rise in temperature is much greater and is causing grave concern. The Greenland Ice Sheet is melting much faster than scientists expected; this could lead to a significant rise in sea level and is already weakening the Gulf Stream, which gives us a temperate climate in the UK.

There needs to be a drastic reduction in the use of fossil fuels: coal, oil and natural gas, to keep the rise in global temperature within tolerable limits. For more background and evidence see Further Reading.

In 2019 a climate change emergency was declared by the UK government, Cotswold District Council, and Tetbury Town Council.

Fortunately, there is a lot that we can all do at an individual level to combat global warming. It requires serious commitment and changes in lifestyle. Most of these changes will save you money. In the process, you will influence others to think about what they can do, and this will bring about a change in public opinion and steer government policy away from supporting the fossil fuel industry.

The average person in the UK has a carbon footprint of 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. You can easily reduce your carbon footprint to 10 tonnes a year by adopting various measures of your own choosing from the other energy pages.

 

Start now. Tell friends and family. Enjoy a better quality of life.