Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. But since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.
Burning fossil fuels generates greenhouse gas emissions that act like a blanket wrapped around the Earth, trapping the sun’s heat and raising temperatures.
Examples of greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change include carbon dioxide and methane. These come from using gasoline for driving a car or coal for heating a building, for example. Clearing land and forests can also release carbon dioxide. Landfills for garbage are a major source of methane emissions. Energy, industry, transport, buildings, agriculture and land use are among the main emitters.
Art by UN
Greenhouse gas concentrations are at their highest levels in 2 million years
International efforts are underway to advance a global just transition away from fossil fuels, including a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, a Plastics Treaty and a Global Green New Deal. We hear from leading voices in this transition about the need to act with urgency and fairness.
Chair: Alex Rafalowicz, Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty initiative Speakers: Dean Bhebhe, PowerShift Africa Pacific Climate Warriors; Dan Lert, Deputy Mayor of Paris; Dr. Maria Neira, WHO; Eriel Deranger, Indigenous Climate Action; Nikki Reisch, CIEL; Asad Rehman, War on Want
Join the urgent call from the Prime Minister of Tuvalu and sign with your email address below.
Dear world leaders at the COP27:
Climate change is drowning the Pacific Islands. The world’s addiction to oil, gas and coal threatens to swallow our lands under the warming seas – inch by inch.
But we will not stand by as our home is wiped from the map! So we’re uniting with a hundred Nobel laureates and thousands of scientists worldwide to urge world leaders to join the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty to manage a just transition away from fossil fuels.
The time has come to make peace with the planet. To deliver vulnerable nations the long overdue funding needed to cope with the loss and damage incurred from climate disasters and to make polluters pay.
They say that one day, the oceans will swallow the place we call home. But I promise you this: until that day comes, we will keep fighting.
Because if we can save our islands, we can save the world.
Tuvalu mo te Atua
Prime Minister of Tuvalu
Join the urgent call from the Prime Minister of Tuvalu and sign with your email address:
EU: Polluters must pay
To European Energy Ministers and Heads of State:
As concerned citizens across Europe, we urge you to tax the obscene profits that fossil fuel companies and financial institutions are earning profiteering from the global energy crisis prompted by Putin’s war in Ukraine. That money must be channeled back to European citizens to protect them from soaring energy prices and to superpower Europe’s sustainable energy future – boosting efficiency and solar capacity so that by 2030 at least half of the EU is fully powered by renewable energy.