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Lesson of the Day

Explore 7 Climate Change Solutions

In this lesson, students will use a jigsaw activity to learn about some of the most effective strategies and technologies that can help head off the worst effects of global warming.

solution to climate change essay

By Natalie Proulx

Lesson Overview

Earlier this summer, a report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change , a body of scientists convened by the United Nations, found that some devastating impacts of global warming were unavoidable. But there is still a short window to stop things from getting even worse.

This report will be central at COP26 , the international climate summit where about 20,000 heads of state, diplomats and activists are meeting in person this week to set new targets for cutting emissions from coal, oil and gas that are heating the planet.

In this lesson, you will learn about seven ways we can slow down climate change and head off some of its most catastrophic consequences while we still have time. Using a jigsaw activity , you’ll become an expert in one of these strategies or technologies and share what you learn with your classmates. Then, you will develop your own climate plan and consider ways you can make a difference based on your new knowledge.

What do you know about the ways the world can slow climate change? Start by making a list of strategies, technologies or policies that could help solve the climate crisis.

Which of your ideas do you think could have the biggest impact on climate change? Circle what you think might be the top three.

Now, test your knowledge by taking this 2017 interactive quiz:

solution to climate change essay

How Much Do You Know About Solving Global Warming?

A new book presents 100 potential solutions. Can you figure out which ones are top ranked?

After you’ve finished, reflect on your own in writing or in discussion with a partner:

What solutions to climate change did you learn about that you didn’t know before?

Were you surprised by any of the answers in the quiz? If so, which ones and why?

What questions do you still have about solving climate change?

Jigsaw Activity

As you learned in the warm-up, there are many possible ways to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. Below we’ve rounded up seven of the most effective solutions, many of which you may have been introduced to in the quiz above.

In this jigsaw activity, you’ll become an expert in one of the climate solutions listed below and then present what you learned to your classmates. Teachers may assign a student or small group to each topic, or allow them to choose. Students, read at least one of the linked articles on your topic; you can also use that article as a jumping-off point for more research.

Climate Change Solutions

Renewable energy: Scientists agree that to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change, countries must immediately move away from dirty energy sources like coal, oil and gas, and instead turn to renewable energy sources like wind, solar or nuclear power. Read about the potent possibilities of one of these producers, offshore wind farms , and see how they operate .

Refrigerants: It’s not the most exciting solution to climate change, but it is one of the most effective. Read about how making refrigerants, like air-conditioners, more efficient could eliminate a full degree Celsius of warming by 2100.

Transportation: Across the globe, governments are focused on limiting one of the world’s biggest sources of pollution: gasoline-powered cars. Read about the promises and challenges of electric vehicles or about how countries are rethinking their transit systems .

Methane emissions: You hear a lot about the need to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but what about its dangerous cousin, methane? Read about ideas to halt methane emissions and why doing so could be powerful in the short-term fight against climate change.

Agriculture: Efforts to limit global warming often target fossil fuels, but cutting greenhouse gases from food production is urgent, too, research says. Read about four fixes to earth’s food supply that could go a long way.

Nature conservation: Scientists agree that reversing biodiversity loss is a crucial way to slow climate change. Read about how protecting and restoring nature can help cool the planet or about how Indigenous communities could lead the way .

Carbon capture: Eliminating emissions alone may not be enough to avoid some of the worst effects of climate change, so some companies are investing in technology that sucks carbon dioxide out of the air. Learn more about so-called engineered carbon removal .

Questions to Consider

As you read about your climate solution, respond to the questions below. You can record your answers in this graphic organizer (PDF).

1. What is the solution? How does it work?

2. What problem related to climate change does this strategy address?

3. What effect could it have on global warming?

4. Compared with other ways to mitigate climate change, how effective is this one? Why?

5. What are the limitations of this solution?

6. What are some of the challenges or risks (political, social, economic or technical) of this idea?

7. What further questions do you have about this strategy?

When you’ve finished, you’ll meet in “teaching groups” with at least one expert in each of the other climate solutions. Share what you know about your topic with your classmates and record what you learn from them in your graphic organizer .

Going Further

Option 1: Develop a climate plan.

Scientists say that in order to prevent the average global temperature from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, the threshold beyond which the dangers of global warming grow immensely, we will need to enact all of the solutions you learned about — and more. However, the reality is that countries won’t be able to right away. They will have to consider which can have the biggest or fastest impact on climate change, which are the most cost-effective and which are the most politically and socially feasible.

Imagine you have been asked to come up with a plan to address climate change. If you were in charge, which of these seven solutions would you prioritize and why? You might start by ranking the solutions you learned about from the most effective or urgent to the least.

Then, write a proposal for your plan that responds to the following questions:

What top three solutions are priorities? That is, which do you think are the most urgent to tackle right away and the most effective at slowing global warming?

Explain your decisions. According to your research — the articles you read and the quiz you took in the beginning of the lesson — why should these solutions take precedence?

How might you incentivize companies and citizens to embrace these changes? For some ideas, you might read more about the climate policies countries around the world have adopted to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Option 2: Take action.

Thinking about climate change solutions on such a big scale can be overwhelming, but there are things you can do in your own life and in your community to make a difference. Choose one of the activities below to take action on, or come up with one of your own:

Share climate solutions via media. Often, the news media focuses more on climate change problems than solutions. Counteract this narrative by creating something for publication related to one or more of the solutions you learned about. For example, you could submit a letter to the editor , write an article for your school newspaper, enter a piece in one of our upcoming student contests or create an infographic to share on social media .

Make changes in your own life. How can you make good climate choices related to one or more of the topics you learned about? For example, you could eat less meat, take public transportation or turn off your air-conditioner. Write a plan, explaining what you will do (or what you are already doing) and how it could help mitigate climate change, according to the research.

Join a movement. This guest essay urges people to focus on systems, not themselves. What groups could you get involved with that are working toward some of the solutions you learned about? Identify at least one group, either local, national or international, and one way you could support it. Or, if you’re old enough to vote, consider a local, state or federal politician you would like to support based on his or her climate policies.

Want more Lessons of the Day? You can find them all here .

Natalie Proulx joined The Learning Network as a staff editor in 2017 after working as an English language arts teacher and curriculum writer. More about Natalie Proulx

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What are the solutions to climate change?

Climate change is already an urgent threat to millions of lives – but there are solutions. From changing how we get our energy to limiting deforestation, here are some of the key solutions to climate change.

Climate change is happening now, and it’s the most serious threat to life on our planet. Luckily, there are plenty of solutions to climate change and they are well-understood.

In 2015, world leaders signed a major treaty called the Paris agreement  to put these solutions into practice.

Core to all climate change solutions is reducing greenhouse gas emissions , which must get to zero as soon as possible.

Because both forests and oceans play vitally important roles in regulating our climate, increasing the natural ability of forests and oceans to absorb carbon dioxide can also help stop global warming.

The main ways to stop climate change are to pressure government and business to:

  • Keep fossil fuels in the ground . Fossil fuels include coal, oil and gas – and the more that are extracted and burned, the worse climate change will get. All countries need to move their economies away from fossil fuels as soon as possible.
  • Invest in renewable energy . Changing our main energy sources to clean and renewable energy is the best way to stop using fossil fuels. These include technologies like solar, wind, wave, tidal and geothermal power.
  • Switch to sustainable transport . Petrol and diesel vehicles, planes and ships use fossil fuels. Reducing car use, switching to electric vehicles and minimising plane travel will not only help stop climate change, it will reduce air pollution too.
  • Help us keep our homes cosy . Homes shouldn’t be draughty and cold – it’s a waste of money, and miserable in the winter. The government can help households heat our homes in a green way – such as by insulating walls and roofs and switching away from oil or gas boilers to heat pumps .
  • Improve farming and encourage vegan diets . One of the best ways for individuals to help stop climate change is by reducing their meat and dairy consumption, or by going fully vegan. Businesses and food retailers can improve farming practices and provide more plant-based products to help people make the shift.
  • Restore nature to absorb more carbon . The natural world is very good at cleaning up our emissions, but we need to look after it. Planting trees in the right places or giving land back to nature through ‘rewilding’ schemes is a good place to start. This is because photosynthesising plants draw down carbon dioxide as they grow, locking it away in soils.
  • Protect forests like the Amazon . Forests are crucial in the fight against climate change, and protecting them is an important climate solution. Cutting down forests on an industrial scale destroys giant trees which could be sucking up huge amounts of carbon. Yet companies destroy forests to make way for animal farming, soya or palm oil plantations. Governments can stop them by making better laws.
  • Protect the oceans . Oceans also absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which helps to keep our climate stable. But many are overfished , used for oil and gas drilling or threatened by deep sea mining. Protecting oceans and the life in them is ultimately a way to protect ourselves from climate change.
  • Reduce how much people consume . Our transport, fashion, food and other lifestyle choices all have different impacts on the climate. This is often by design – fashion and technology companies, for example, will release far more products than are realistically needed. But while reducing consumption of these products might be hard, it’s most certainly worth it. Reducing overall consumption in more wealthy countries can help put less strain on the planet.
  • Reduce plastic . Plastic is made from oil, and the process of extracting, refining and turning oil into plastic (or even polyester, for clothing) is surprisingly carbon-intense . It doesn’t break down quickly in nature so a lot of plastic is burned, which contributes to emissions. Demand for plastic is rising so quickly that creating and disposing of plastics will account for 17% of the global carbon budget by 2050 (this is the emissions count we need to stay within according to the Paris agreement ).

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, and to feel that climate change is too big to solve. But we already have the answers, now it’s a question of making them happen. To work, all of these solutions need strong international cooperation between governments and businesses, including the most polluting sectors.

Individuals can also play a part by making better choices about where they get their energy, how they travel, and what food they eat. But the best way for anyone to help stop climate change is to take collective action. This means pressuring governments and corporations to change their policies and business practices.

Governments want to be re-elected. And businesses can’t survive without customers. Demanding action from them is a powerful way to make change happen.

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For seven years, a government ban has blocked new onshore wind farms in England – the cheapest, cleanest energy going. With a global energy crisis and sky-high energy bills, now's the time for change. Add your name to tell Rishi Sunak to end the ban on new onshore wind projects in England.

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The fossil fuel industry is blocking climate change action

Major oil and gas companies including BP, Exxon and Shell have spent hundreds of millions of pounds trying to delay or stop government policies that would have helped tackle the climate crisis.

Despite the effects of climate change becoming more and more obvious, big polluting corporations – the ones responsible for the majority of carbon emissions – continue to carry on drilling for and burning fossil fuels.

Industries including banks, car and energy companies also make profits from fossil fuels. These industries are knowingly putting money over the future of our planet and the safety of its people.

What are world leaders doing to stop climate change?

With such a huge crisis facing the entire planet, the international response should be swift and decisive. Yet progress by world governments has been achingly slow. Many commitments to reduce carbon emissions have been set, but few are binding and targets are often missed.

In Paris in 2015, world leaders from 197 countries pledged to put people first and reduce their countries’ greenhouse gas emissions. The Paris agreement has the aim of limiting global warming to well below 2ºC and ideally to 1.5°C.

If governments act swiftly on the promises they made in the Paris climate agreement, and implement the solutions now, there’s still hope of avoiding the worst consequences of climate change .

World leaders and climate negotiators meet at annual COPs – which stands for Conference of the Parties (the countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC).

At COPs and other climate talks, nations take stock of their ability to meet their commitments to reduce emissions.

Recently, talks have focused on climate finance – money to help poorer countries adapt to climate change and reduce emissions. Rich countries have pledged $100 billion in annual funding to help developing countries reduce emissions and manage the impacts of climate change. This is yet to materialise, and much more money is needed.

As the impacts of climate change are increasing, important talks have also started on “loss and damage” funding. This is money needed by worst-impacted countries to deal with extreme weather and other climate change impacts.

Global climate change activism

Around the world, millions of us are taking steps to defend our climate. People of all ages and from all walks of life are desperately demanding solutions to the climate emergency.

Over the years, Greenpeace has challenged oil companies chasing new fossil fuels to extract and burn. We’ve also called out the governments for their failure to act fast enough on the climate emergency. Greenpeace activists are ordinary people taking extraordinary action, to push the solutions to climate change.

Indigenous Peoples are most severely affected by both the causes and effects of climate change . They are often on the front lines, facing down deforestation or kicking out fossil fuel industries polluting their water supplies.

Communities in the Pacific Islands are facing sea level rises and more extreme weather. But they are using their strength and resilience to demand world leaders take quicker climate action.

For many of these communities, the fight against climate change is a fight for life itself.

Even in the UK, climate change is impacting people more severely. As a country with the wealth and power to really tackle climate change, it’s never been more important to demand action.

Keep exploring

Protestors carry placards saying 'Don't do nothing' and 'Planet over profit'

What can I do to stop climate change?

Individuals can make changes to their lives to reduce their personal carbon footprint. But it’s more important to persuade decision-makers in governments and businesses to drive emissions reductions on a much larger scale. This is the best way to stop climate change getting worse.

A worker in a hard hat and harness crouches on top of an offshore wind turbine. Other turbines are visible in the background.

What is the UK doing about climate change?

All countries need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. So how’s the UK doing?

Two adults, one with a child on their shoulders, walk through a field of sunflowers with wind turbines generating renewable energy in the background.

Renewable energy: a beginner's guide

Clean renewable energy is a vital tool for tackling climate change. Discover how it works and understand the advantages of wind, solar and water power.

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Environmental justice, explained

The environmental crisis doesn't affect everyone equally. Often the worst impacts fall on those who are already most exploited by people in power. The fight for environmental justice is about addressing this unfairness, and making sure green solutions don't add to the problem.

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Ten solutions to climate change that will actually make a difference

Jun 20, 2022

Man inspecting his papaya fruits on his farm (seeds provided by Concern).

At this point we need solutions bigger than any one person. But that doesn’t tell the whole story.

There are a lot of differing opinions on whether it's too late to climate change — and, if it's not the best way of going about it. Some say recycling is useless and that individual action means nothing against the larger policy reforms that need to happen. This is, in part, true — although you should absolutely still be recycling. But it doesn’t tell the whole story, and it doesn’t help those who are currently on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Here, we break down 10 solutions to climate change that will actually make a difference — and how you can help make them all a reality.

Stand with the people most affected by climate change

1. shift to renewable energy sources in all key sectors.

The United Nations identified a six-sector solution to climate change, focusing on actions that can be taken by the energy, industry, agriculture, transportation, nature-based solutions, and urban planning. If all of these actions are completed, the UN Environment Programme estimates we could reduce global carbon emissions by 29 to 32 gigatonnes, thereby limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5º C.

One key element of this plan is shifting to renewable energy sources, both at home and at work. “We have the necessary technology to make this reduction by shifting to renewable energy and using less energy,” the UNEP writes of our personal energy consumption (generally, fossil fuels power our homes, keeping the lights on, our rooms warm, and Netflix streaming). But the energy usage of the industrial sector also plays a key role: Addressing issues like methane leaks and switching at large scale to passive or renewable energy-based heating and cooling systems could reduce industrial carbon emissions by 7.3 gigatonnes every year.

Graphic of the United Nations Environment Program's Six Sector Solution to Climate Change

2. Reduce food loss and waste and shift to more sustainable diets

There are a few different ways that climate change and hunger go hand-in-hand. Whether it’s kale or Kobe beef, producing food accounts for some measure of greenhouse gasses. In 2021, the Food and Agriculture Organization estimated we consumed more meat than ever before . By 2050 this will, by some estimates, increase greenhouse gas emissions from food production by 60%. Likewise, many farmers use nitrous-based fertilizers to grow more crops, more quickly to meet demand.

It’s important to reduce food waste at every step of the food system . For us as consumers, we can commit to eating what we buy and composting what we don’t get to in time. We can also switch our focus to plant-based and other sustainable diets, supporting farms that use organic fertilizers and making beef and other meat products the exception rather than the rule at the dinner table.

Woman and her vegetables for sale at the central market of the town of Manono, Tanganyika Province.

3. Halt deforestation and commit to rebuilding damaged ecosystems

The rapid deforestation of the Earth, especially over the last 60 years, has contributed to climate change, creating “heat islands” out of land that would normally be protected by trees and other flora from overheating. Simply put, this has to stop. There are actions each of us can take as individuals to help halt this—going paperless and buying recycled paper products, planting trees or supporting organizations that do this (like Concern ), and recycling.

But change has to happen at a larger scale here. Illegal logging happens both in the United States and abroad. Last year, world leaders committed to halting this and other harmful practices by 2030 as part of COP26. You can help by holding your own elected leaders to account.

A tree nursery in Bangladesh

4. Embrace electric vehicles, public transport, and other non-motorized options for getting around

The carbon savings on junking your current car in favor of an electric model are basically nullified if you aren’t seriously in the market for a new vehicle. However, mass adoption of electric vehicles and public transport — along with walking, biking, skating, and scooting — is key to cutting the greenhouse gas emissions from fuel-based motor vehicles.

Woman riding a bicycle with a man standing behind her

This is another issue you can raise with elected officials. Earlier this year, for example, you may remember hearing that President Biden had been encouraging the US Postal System to adopt electric vans as part of its new fleet. This didn’t come to pass , but it’s changes like these — changes beyond any one person’s transportation method — that need to happen. You can call on your representatives to support these switchovers for delivery vehicles, cab and taxi fleets, ambulances, and other auto-centric services. Or, if your city or town lacks decent public transportation or enough bike lanes or sidewalks to make those alternatives to driving, lobby for those.

5. Subsidize low-carbon alternatives for urban planning

In tandem with low-carbon alternatives for public transportation, governments need to commit to similar measures with our growing cities. New buildings mean a new opportunity to reward green design methods that help to decrease the strain on urban resources, whether they’re apartments or entertainment venues. (Fun fact: The Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center in Athens runs almost entirely off of solar panels during the bright and sunny summer months. ) In cities like New York, we’ve seen the toll that excessive power use can take through rolling blackouts and brown-outs, especially in the summer months. Changes to public infrastructure that reduce our reliance on the power grid will help to keep the system from becoming untenably overloaded.

A solar-powered water point in Marsabit, Kenya

6. Strengthen resilience and climate adaptation methods in MAPA communities

So far, we’ve looked at solutions to climate change that can take place within our own homes and communities. However, these only go so far to mitigate the damage that the climate crisis has already inflicted on a large portion of the world. The most affected people and areas (MAPAs) are largely in the Global South. Many are located in low-income countries without the resources or infrastructure to respond and adapt to climate disasters, even as they become more frequent and destructive.

Countries like the United States and organizations responding to the climate crisis must support MAPA communities, particularly the most vulnerable, in developing and carrying out strategies specific to context and designed to bolster resilience where it’s needed most. Often these communities know what needs to be done to mitigate the effects of climate change, and they simply need to be supported with access to additional research and meteorological data, new technologies, and funding.

solution to climate change essay

What we talk about when we talk about resilience

The word “resilience” has taken on new meanings and contexts in recent years, but at Concern it still has a specific definition relating to our emergency and climate response. Here’s what we mean when we use it.

7. Address poverty and other inequalities that increase vulnerability

The tem MAPA can also apply to individuals within a community. Women, disabled people, children, the elderly, people living in poverty, indigenous peoples, and LGBTQIA+ people are among those who are most likely to be hit harder by climate change because of preexisting societal marginalization. This is why it’s critical that they also have a seat at the decision-making table when it comes to solutions to climate change within their own communities. Ending poverty and the other systemic inequalities that give some people greater access to resources than others will help to offset some of the greatest threats posed by the climate crisis.

Esime Jenaia, a Lead Farmer for conservation Agriculture, at her plot in Chituke village, Mangochi, Malawi, with neighbor Esnart Kasimu. Concern has been carrying out Conservation Agriculture and livelihoods programming in Malawi since 2012, with the assistance of Accenture Ireland.

8. Invest in disaster risk reduction (DRR)

Disaster Risk Reduction (otherwise known as DRR) protects the lives and livelihoods of communities and individuals who are most vulnerable to disasters or emergencies. Whether the crisis is caused by nature or humans (or a combination of both), DRR limits its negative impact on those who stand to lose the most.

We can’t undo much of climate change’s impact so far, but we can help the communities who are hit hardest by these impacts to prepare for and respond to these emergencies once they strike.

9. Commit to fair financing and climate justice

Of course, DRR strategies and other resilience, adaptation, and mitigation practices cost money. Money that the countries most affected by climate change often lack. As part of a global commitment to climate justice , countries with the highest carbon footprints should be making restitution to those countries with lower footprints, countries that tend to be more vulnerable to global warming.

Countries like the United States must increase investments in disaster prevention and DRR strategies, such as early warning and response systems, forecast-based financing mechanisms, and adapted infrastructure. What’s more, these funds need to be made rapidly dispersible and flexible so that when emergency strikes, they can be accessed more quickly. Additional investment to prevent conflicts over the use of natural resources will also help countries facing both fragile political systems and a high risk for climate-related disasters.

solution to climate change essay

Project Profile

Responding to Pakistan's Internally Displaced (RAPID)

RAPID is a funding program that allows Concern to quickly and efficiently deliver aid to people displaced by conflict or natural disaster.

10. Guarantee these changes in the long-term via policy reform

Few of the solutions listed above are not sustainable without policy reform. You can help by encouraging your elected officials to consider the above points, and to support bills that incorporate one or more of these solutions to climate change, many of which are currently being written and shared at the local and national levels.

Smart climate policy will prioritize people over corporations, consider the framework of climate justice — including land and water rights of indigenous peoples and rural communities, address the intersectional effects of climate change on hunger, poverty, and gender equality, and enforce regulatory frameworks and standards that commit people and institutions to honoring these new standards. Bold and aggressive action must be taken if we’re to reach the goal of not exceeding 1.5º C and mitigating the current effects of climate change by 2030. But it’s not a lost cause yet. It’s on all of us to now support those actions that are needed most.

Support Concern's climate response

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November 26, 2007

10 Solutions for Climate Change

Ten possibilities for staving off catastrophic climate change

By David Biello

solution to climate change essay

Mark Garlick Getty Images

The enormity of global warming can be daunting and dispiriting. What can one person, or even one nation, do on their own to slow and reverse climate change ? But just as ecologist Stephen Pacala and physicist Robert Socolow, both at Princeton University, came up with 15 so-called " wedges " for nations to utilize toward this goal—each of which is challenging but feasible and, in some combination, could reduce greenhouse gas emissions to safer levels —there are personal lifestyle changes that you can make too that, in some combination, can help reduce your carbon impact. Not all are right for everybody. Some you may already be doing or absolutely abhor. But implementing just a few of them could make a difference.

Forego Fossil Fuels —The first challenge is eliminating the burning of coal , oil and, eventually, natural gas. This is perhaps the most daunting challenge as denizens of richer nations literally eat, wear, work, play and even sleep on the products made from such fossilized sunshine. And citizens of developing nations want and arguably deserve the same comforts, which are largely thanks to the energy stored in such fuels.

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Oil is the lubricant of the global economy, hidden inside such ubiquitous items as plastic and corn, and fundamental to the transportation of both consumers and goods. Coal is the substrate, supplying roughly half of the electricity used in the U.S. and nearly that much worldwide—a percentage that is likely to grow, according to the International Energy Agency. There are no perfect solutions for reducing dependence on fossil fuels (for example, carbon neutral biofuels can drive up the price of food and lead to forest destruction, and while nuclear power does not emit greenhouse gases, it does produce radioactive waste), but every bit counts.

So try to employ alternatives when possible—plant-derived plastics, biodiesel, wind power—and to invest in the change, be it by divesting from oil stocks or investing in companies practicing carbon capture and storage.

Infrastructure Upgrade —Buildings worldwide contribute around one third of all greenhouse gas emissions (43 percent in the U.S. alone), even though investing in thicker insulation and other cost-effective, temperature-regulating steps can save money in the long run. Electric grids are at capacity or overloaded, but power demands continue to rise. And bad roads can lower the fuel economy of even the most efficient vehicle. Investing in new infrastructure, or radically upgrading existing highways and transmission lines, would help cut greenhouse gas emissions and drive economic growth in developing countries.

Of course, it takes a lot of cement, a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, to construct new buildings and roads. The U.S. alone contributed 50.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in 2005 from cement production, which requires heating limestone and other ingredients to 1,450 degrees Celsius (2,642 degrees Fahrenheit). Mining copper and other elements needed for electrical wiring and transmission also causes globe-warming pollution.

But energy-efficient buildings and improved cement-making processes (such as using alternative fuels to fire up the kiln) could reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the developed world and prevent them in the developing world.

Move Closer to Work —Transportation is the second leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. (burning a single gallon of gasoline produces 20 pounds of CO 2 ). But it doesn't have to be that way.

One way to dramatically curtail transportation fuel needs is to move closer to work, use mass transit, or switch to walking, cycling or some other mode of transport that does not require anything other than human energy. There is also the option of working from home and telecommuting several days a week.

Cutting down on long-distance travel would also help, most notably airplane flights, which are one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions and a source that arguably releases such emissions in the worst possible spot (higher in the atmosphere). Flights are also one of the few sources of globe-warming pollution for which there isn't already a viable alternative: jets rely on kerosene, because it packs the most energy per pound, allowing them to travel far and fast, yet it takes roughly 10 gallons of oil to make one gallon of JetA fuel. Restricting flying to only critical, long-distance trips—in many parts of the world, trains can replace planes for short- to medium-distance trips—would help curb airplane emissions.

Consume Less —The easiest way to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions is simply to buy less stuff. Whether by forgoing an automobile or employing a reusable grocery sack, cutting back on consumption results in fewer fossil fuels being burned to extract, produce and ship products around the globe.

Think green when making purchases. For instance, if you are in the market for a new car, buy one that will last the longest and have the least impact on the environment. Thus, a used vehicle with a hybrid engine offers superior fuel efficiency over the long haul while saving the environmental impact of new car manufacture.

Paradoxically, when purchasing essentials, such as groceries, buying in bulk can reduce the amount of packaging—plastic wrapping, cardboard boxes and other unnecessary materials. Sometimes buying more means consuming less.

Be Efficient —A potentially simpler and even bigger impact can be made by doing more with less. Citizens of many developed countries are profligate wasters of energy, whether by speeding in a gas-guzzling sport-utility vehicle or leaving the lights on when not in a room.

Good driving—and good car maintenance, such as making sure tires are properly inflated—can limit the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from a vehicle and, perhaps more importantly, lower the frequency of payment at the pump.

Similarly, employing more efficient refrigerators, air conditioners and other appliances, such as those rated highly under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program, can cut electric bills while something as simple as weatherproofing the windows of a home can reduce heating and cooling bills. Such efforts can also be usefully employed at work, whether that means installing more efficient turbines at the power plant or turning the lights off when you leave the office .

Eat Smart, Go Vegetarian? —Corn grown in the U.S. requires barrels of oil for the fertilizer to grow it and the diesel fuel to harvest and transport it. Some grocery stores stock organic produce that do not require such fertilizers, but it is often shipped from halfway across the globe. And meat, whether beef, chicken or pork, requires pounds of feed to produce a pound of protein.

Choosing food items that balance nutrition, taste and ecological impact is no easy task. Foodstuffs often bear some nutritional information, but there is little to reveal how far a head of lettuce, for example, has traveled.

University of Chicago researchers estimate that each meat-eating American produces 1.5 tons more greenhouse gases through their food choice than do their vegetarian peers. It would also take far less land to grow the crops necessary to feed humans than livestock, allowing more room for planting trees.

Stop Cutting Down Trees —Every year, 33 million acres of forests are cut down . Timber harvesting in the tropics alone contributes 1.5 billion metric tons of carbon to the atmosphere. That represents 20 percent of human-made greenhouse gas emissions and a source that could be avoided relatively easily.

Improved agricultural practices along with paper recycling and forest management—balancing the amount of wood taken out with the amount of new trees growing—could quickly eliminate this significant chunk of emissions.

And when purchasing wood products, such as furniture or flooring, buy used goods or, failing that, wood certified to have been sustainably harvested. The Amazon and other forests are not just the lungs of the earth, they may also be humanity's best short-term hope for limiting climate change.

Unplug —Believe it or not, U.S. citizens spend more money on electricity to power devices when off than when on. Televisions, stereo equipment, computers, battery chargers and a host of other gadgets and appliances consume more energy when seemingly switched off, so unplug them instead.

Purchasing energy-efficient gadgets can also save both energy and money—and thus prevent more greenhouse gas emissions. To take but one example, efficient battery chargers could save more than one billion kilowatt-hours of electricity—$100 million at today's electricity prices—and thus prevent the release of more than one million metric tons of greenhouse gases.

Swapping old incandescent lightbulbs for more efficient replacements, such as compact fluorescents (warning: these lightbulbs contain mercury and must be properly disposed of at the end of their long life), would save billions of kilowatt-hours. In fact, according to the EPA, replacing just one incandescent lightbulb in every American home would save enough energy to provide electricity to three million American homes.

One Child —There are at least 6.6 billion people living today, a number that is predicted by the United Nations to grow to at least nine billion by mid-century. The U.N. Environmental Program estimates that it requires 54 acres to sustain an average human being today—food, clothing and other resources extracted from the planet. Continuing such population growth seems unsustainable.

Falling birth rates in some developed and developing countries (a significant portion of which are due to government-imposed limits on the number of children a couple can have) have begun to reduce or reverse the population explosion. It remains unclear how many people the planet can comfortably sustain, but it is clear that per capita energy consumption must go down if climate change is to be controlled.

Ultimately, a one child per couple rule is not sustainable either and there is no perfect number for human population. But it is clear that more humans means more greenhouse gas emissions.

Future Fuels —Replacing fossil fuels may prove the great challenge of the 21st century. Many contenders exist, ranging from ethanol derived from crops to hydrogen electrolyzed out of water, but all of them have some drawbacks, too, and none are immediately available at the scale needed.

Biofuels can have a host of negative impacts, from driving up food prices to sucking up more energy than they produce. Hydrogen must be created, requiring either reforming natural gas or electricity to crack water molecules. Biodiesel hybrid electric vehicles (that can plug into the grid overnight) may offer the best transportation solution in the short term, given the energy density of diesel and the carbon neutral ramifications of fuel from plants as well as the emissions of electric engines. A recent study found that the present amount of electricity generation in the U.S. could provide enough energy for the country's entire fleet of automobiles to switch to plug-in hybrids , reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the process.

But plug-in hybrids would still rely on electricity, now predominantly generated by burning dirty coal. Massive investment in low-emission energy generation, whether solar-thermal power or nuclear fission , would be required to radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And even more speculative energy sources—hyperefficient photovoltaic cells, solar energy stations in orbit or even fusion—may ultimately be required.

The solutions above offer the outline of a plan to personally avoid contributing to global warming. But should such individual and national efforts fail, there is another, potentially desperate solution:

Experiment Earth —Climate change represents humanity's first planetwide experiment. But, if all else fails, it may not be the last. So-called geoengineering , radical interventions to either block sunlight or reduce greenhouse gases, is a potential last resort for addressing the challenge of climate change.

Among the ideas: releasing sulfate particles in the air to mimic the cooling effects of a massive volcanic eruption; placing millions of small mirrors or lenses in space to deflect sunlight; covering portions of the planet with reflective films to bounce sunlight back into space; fertilizing the oceans with iron or other nutrients to enable plankton to absorb more carbon; and increasing cloud cover or the reflectivity of clouds that already form.

All may have unintended consequences, making the solution worse than the original problem. But it is clear that at least some form of geoengineering will likely be required: capturing carbon dioxide before it is released and storing it in some fashion, either deep beneath the earth, at the bottom of the ocean or in carbonate minerals. Such carbon capture and storage is critical to any serious effort to combat climate change.

Additional reporting by Larry Greenemeier and Nikhil Swaminathan .

What Are the Solutions to Climate Change?

Some solutions are big and will require billions in investment. Some are small and free. All are achievable.

A woman holds a lantern that is connected by a wire to a small solar panel held by a man to her left.

Bundei Hidreka (left), a member of the Orissa Tribal Women's Barefoot Solar Engineers Association, holds up a solar lantern in Tinginaput, India.

Abbie Trayler-Smith/DFID, CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

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Thinking about climate change can be overwhelming. We’ve been aware of its causes for decades now, and all around us, we bear witness to its devastating effects on our communities and ecosystems.

But the good news is that we now know exactly what it will take to win the fight against climate change, and we’re making measurable, meaningful progress. Game-changing developments in clean energy, electric vehicle technology, and energy efficiency are emerging every single day. And countries—including Canada , China , India , and the United States —are coordinating and cooperating at levels never seen before in order to tackle the most pressing issue of our time.

The bottom line: If the causes and effects of our climate crisis are clearer than ever, so are the solutions.

Ending Our Reliance on Fossil Fuels

Greater energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transportation, sustainable buildings, better forestry management and sustainable agriculture, conservation-based solutions, industrial solutions, technological solutions, our choices.

The single-most important thing that we can do to combat climate change is to drastically reduce our consumption of fossil fuels . The burning of coal, oil, and natural gas in our buildings, industrial processes, and transportation is responsible for the vast majority of emissions that are warming the planet —more than 75 percent . In addition to altering the climate , dirty energy also comes with unacceptable ecological and human health impacts.

We must replace coal, oil, and gas with renewable and efficient energy sources. Thankfully, with each passing year, clean energy is making gains as technology improves and production costs go down. But in order to meet the goal of reducing global carbon emissions by at least 45 percent below 2010 levels before 2030—which scientists tell us we must do if we’re to avoid the worst, deadliest impacts of climate change—we must act faster.

There are promising signs. Wind and solar continue to account for ever-larger shares of electricity generation. In 2021, wind and solar generated a record 10 percent of electricity worldwide. And modeling by NRDC has found that wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear could account for as much as 80 percent of U.S. electricity by the end of this decade . (We can also fully realize our clean energy potential if we invest in repairing our aging grid infrastructure and installing new transmission lines.) While this transformation is taking place, automakers—as well as governments—are preparing for a future when the majority of vehicles on the road will produce zero emissions.

A man stands on a green lawn in front of a white house, spraying water from a hose onto a metal panel on the grass in front of him.

Technicians from Solaris Energy carry out the first-annual servicing and cleaning on a heat pump that was installed into a house originally built in the 1930s, in Folkestone, United Kingdom.

Andrew Aitchison / In pictures via Getty Images

Energy efficiency has been referred to as “the first fuel”; after all, the more energy efficient our systems are, the less actual fuel we have to consume, whether rooftop solar energy or gas power. Considered this way, efficiency is our largest energy resource. As the technology harnessing it has advanced over the past 40 years, efficiency has contributed more to the United States’s energy needs than oil, coal, gas, or nuclear power.

What’s more, energy efficiency strategies can be applied across multiple sectors: in our power plants, electrical grids, factories, vehicles, buildings, home appliances, and more. Some of these climate-friendly strategies can be enormously complex, such as helping utility companies adopt performance-based regulation systems , in which they no longer make more money simply by selling more energy but rather by improving the services they provide. Other strategies are extraordinarily simple. For example, weatherproofing buildings, installing cool roofs , replacing boilers and air conditioners with super-efficient heat pumps , and yes, switching out light bulbs from incandescent to LED can all make a big dent in our energy consumption.

Transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy is the key to winning the fight against climate change. Here are the most common sources of renewable energy —and one source of decidedly nonrenewable energy that often gets included (falsely) in the list.

A worker in a hard hat stands in front of a building with rooftop solar panels.

Engineer Steve Marchi and his team perform a final review of rooftop solar panels as part of the solar expansion project at the Wayne National Forest Welcome Center, in Ohio.

Alex Snyder/Wayne National Forest

Solar energy

Solar energy is produced when light from the sun is absorbed by photovoltaic cells and turned directly into electricity. The solar panels that you may have seen on rooftops or at ground level are made up of many of these cells working together. By 2030, at least one in seven U.S. homes is projected to have rooftop solar panels, which emit no greenhouse gases or other pollutants, and which generate electricity year-round ( in hot or cold weather ) so long as the sun is shining. Solar energy currently accounts for just under 3 percent of the electricity generated in the United States—enough to power 18 million homes —but is growing at a faster rate than any other source. By 2035, it could account for as much as 40 percent of electricity generation. From 2020 through 2026, solar will account for more than half of new electricity generation worldwide.

What to do when the sun doesn’t shine, you might ask. Alongside the boom in solar has been a surge in companion battery storage: More than 93 percent of U.S. battery capacity added in 2021 was paired with solar power plants. Battery storage is key to the clean energy revolution—and adapting to a warming world. Not only are batteries important at night when the sun isn’t out, but on hot days when homes draw a lot of electricity to power air conditioners, battery storage can help manage the energy demand and control the threat of power failures.

Three wind turbines stand in rough seas with a wave cresting in front of them.

Turbines on Block Island Wind Farm, located 3.8 miles from Block Island, Rhode Island, in the Atlantic Ocean

Dennis Schroeder/NREL, 40481

Wind energy

Unlike solar panels, which convert the sun’s energy directly into electricity, wind turbines produce electricity more conventionally: wind turns the blades of a turbine, which spin a generator. Currently, wind accounts for just above 9 percent of U.S. electricity generation, but it, like solar, is growing fast as more states and utilities come to recognize its ability to produce 100 percent clean energy at a remarkably low cost. Unsurprisingly, states with plenty of wide-open space—including Kansas , Oklahoma , and Texas —have huge capacity when it comes to wind power, but many analysts believe that some of the greatest potential for wind energy exists just off our coasts. Offshore wind even tends to ramp up in the evenings when home electricity use jumps, and it can produce energy during the rainy and cloudy times when solar energy is less available. Smart planning and protective measures , meanwhile, can ensure we harness the massive promise of offshore wind while limiting or eliminating potential impacts on wildlife.

Steam rises off blue water in front of a power plant with four stacks

Svartsengi geothermal power plant in Iceland

Daniel Snaer Ragnarsson/iStock

Geothermal and hydroelectric energy

Along with sunlight and wind, water—under certain conditions—can also be a source of renewable energy. For instance, geothermal energy works by drilling deep underground and pumping extremely hot water up to the earth’s surface, where it is then converted to steam that, once pressurized, spins a generator to create electricity. Hydroelectric energy uses gravity to “pull” water downward through a pipe at high speeds and pressures; the force of this moving water is used to spin a generator’s rotor.

Humans have been harnessing heat energy from below the earth’s surface for eons—just think of the hot springs that provided warmth for the people of ancient Rome. Today’s geothermal plants are considered clean and renewable so long as the water and steam they bring up to the surface is redeposited underground after use. Proper siting of geothermal projects is also important, as recent science has linked some innovative approaches to geothermal to an increased risk of earthquakes .

Hydroelectric plants, when small-scale and carefully managed, represent a safe and renewable source of energy. Larger plants known as mega-dams, however, are highly problematic . Their massive footprint can disrupt the rivers on which people and wildlife depend .

Biomass energy

With very few exceptions, generating electricity through the burning of organic material like wood (sourced largely from pine and hardwood forests in the United States), agricultural products, or animal waste—collectively referred to as biomass —does little to reduce carbon emissions, and in fact, does far more environmental harm than good. Unfortunately, despite numerous studies that have revealed the true toll of this form of bioenergy , some countries continue to buy the biomass industry’s false narrative and subsidize these projects. Attitudes are changing but, given the recent wood pellet boom, there is a lot more work to be done.

A bus drives down a city street with high rise buildings in the background

A new electric bus on King Street in Honolulu, on June 16, 2021

Marco Garcia for NRDC

Transportation is a top source of greenhouse gases (GHG), so eliminating pollution from the billions of vehicles driving across the planet is essential to achieving net-zero global emissions by 2050, a goal laid out in the 2015 Paris climate agreement .

In 2021, electric vehicles (EVs) accounted for less than 8 percent of vehicle sales globally; by 2035 , however, it’s estimated that they’ll account for more than half of all new sales. Governments around the world aren’t just anticipating an all-electric future; they’re bringing it into fruition by setting goals and binding requirements to phase out the sale of gas-powered internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. That year, 2035, is expected to mark a turning point in the adoption of EVs and in the fight against climate change as countries around the world—as well as numerous automakers—have announced goals to phase out gas-powered cars and light trucks . This shift will also benefit our grid: EVs are like a “ battery on wheels ” and have the potential to supply electricity back to the network when demand peaks, helping to prevent blackouts.

It’s also critical that we consider all of the different ways we get around and build sustainability into each of them. By increasing access to public transportation—such as buses, ride-sharing services, subways, and streetcars—as well as embracing congestion pricing , we can cut down on car trips and keep millions of tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere every year. And by encouraging zero-emission forms of transportation, such as walking and biking, we can reduce emissions even more. Boosting these alternate forms of transportation will require more than just talk. They require funding , planning, and the building out of supportive infrastructure by leaders across the local, state, and national levels.

To address the full set of impacts of the transportation sector, we need holistic and community-led solutions around things like land-use policies and the way we move consumer goods. Communities closest to ports , truck corridors, rail yards, and warehouses are exposed to toxic diesel emissions and face a high risk of developing acute and chronic public health diseases. Like all climate solutions, long-lasting change in the transportation sector requires building the power of historically marginalized communities.

A worker stands at a window in a room with plastic sheeting hanging from the ceiling and covering furniture

An Association for Energy Affordability (AEA) worker installs a new energy-efficient window at an apartment in the South Bronx, New York City.

Natalie Keyssar for NRDC

The energy used in our buildings—to keep the lights on and appliances running; to warm them and cool them; to cook and to heat water—makes them the single-largest source of carbon pollution in most cities across the United States. Making buildings more energy efficient, by upgrading windows and adding insulation to attics and walls, for example, will bring these numbers down. That’s why it’s all the more important that we raise public awareness of cost- and carbon-saving changes that individuals can make in their homes and workplaces, and make it easier for people to purchase and install energy-efficient technology, such as heat pumps (which can both heat and cool spaces) and certified appliances through programs like Energy Star in the United States or EnerGuide in Canada.

Beyond the measures that can be taken by individuals, we need to see a dedication from private businesses and governments to further building decarbonization , which simply means making buildings more efficient and replacing fossil fuel–burning systems and appliances with clean-powered ones. Policy tools can help get us there, including city and state mandates that all newly constructed homes, offices, and other buildings be outfitted with efficient all-electric systems for heating, cooling, and hot water; requirements that municipalities and states meet the latest and most stringent energy conservation standards when adopting or updating their building codes would also be impactful. Indeed, many places around the world are implementing building performance standards , which require existing buildings to reduce their energy use or carbon emissions over time. Most important, if these changes are going to reach the scale needed, we must invest in the affordable housing sector so that efficient and decarbonized homes are accessible to homeowners and renters of all incomes .

A young man stands on a rocky shore holding a rope attached to a red canoe on the water in front of him

Nicolas Mainville joins a canoe trip with youth from the Cree First Nation of Waswanipi on a river in Waswanipi Quebec, Canada, which is part of the boreal forest.

Nicolas Mainville/Greenpeace

Some of our strongest allies in the fight against climate change are the trees, plants, and soil that store massive amounts of carbon at ground level or underground. Without the aid of these carbon sinks , life on earth would be impossible, as atmospheric temperatures would rise to levels more like those found on Venus .

But whenever we clearcut forests for timber or rip out wetlands for development, we release that climate-warming carbon into the air. Similarly, the widespread overuse of nitrogen-based fertilizers (a fossil fuel product) on cropland and generations of industrial-scale livestock farming practices have led to the release of unprecedented amounts of nitrous oxide and methane, powerful greenhouse gases, into our atmosphere.

We can’t plant new trees fast enough to replace the ones we clearcut in carbon-storing forests like the Canadian boreal or the Amazon rainforest —nor can rows of spindly young pines serve the same function as old-growth trees. We need a combination of responsible forestry policies, international pressure, and changes in consumer behavior to put an end to deforestation practices that not only accelerate climate change but also destroy wildlife habitat and threaten the health and culture of Indigenous communities that live sustainably in these verdant spaces. At the same time, we need to treat our managed landscapes with as much care as we treat wild ones. For instance, adopting practices associated with organic and regenerative agriculture —cover crops, pesticide use reduction, rotational grazing, and compost instead of synthetic fertilizers—will help nurture the soil, yield healthier foods, and pay a climate dividend too.

Many small fish swim in clear waters near a large tree with roots extending below the water's surface

A school of fish swimming through a mangrove forest in the Caribbean Sea, off Belize

Intact ecosystems suck up and store vast amounts of carbon: Coastal ecosystems like wetlands and mangroves accumulate and store carbon in their roots; our forests soak up about a third of annual fossil fuel emissions; and freshwater wetlands hold between 20 and 30 percent of all the carbon found in the world’s soil. It’s clear we’re not going to be able to address climate change if we don’t preserve nature.

This is one reason why, along with preserving biodiversity, climate experts are calling on global leaders to fully protect and restore at least 30 percent of land, inland waters, and oceans by 2030 , a strategy endorsed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. To help us reach that goal, we must limit industrial impacts on our public lands and waters, continue to protect natural landscapes, support the creation of marine protected areas, uphold bedrock environmental laws, and follow the lead of Indigenous Peoples, many of whom have been faithfully and sustainably stewarding lands and waters for millennia .

Gray and black smoke rise out of stacks on an industrial facility, with homes visible in the background.

Emissions rise from the Edgar Thomson Steel Works, a steel mill in the Braddock and North Braddock communities near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Getty Images

Heavy industry—the factories and facilities that produce our goods—is responsible for a quarter of GHG emissions in the United States and 40 percent globally. Most industrial emissions come from making a small set of carbon-intensive products: basic chemicals, iron and steel, cement, aluminum, glass, and paper. (Industrial plants are also often major sources of air and water pollutants that directly affect human health.)

Complicating matters is the fact that many industrial plants will stay in operation for decades, so emissions goals for 2050 are really just one investment cycle away. Given these long horizons for building and retrofitting industrial sites, starting investments and plans now is critical. What would successfully decarbonized industrial processes look like? They should sharply reduce heavy industry’s climate emissions , as well as local pollution. They should be scalable and widely available in the next decade, especially so that less developed nations can adopt these cleaner processes and grow without increasing emissions. And they should bolster manufacturing in a way that creates good jobs.

Technology alone won’t save us from climate change (especially not some of these risky geoengineering proposals ). But at the same time, we won’t be able to solve the climate crisis without researching and developing things like longer-lasting EV batteries , nonpolluting hydrogen-based solutions , and reliable, safe, and equitable methods for capturing and sequestering carbon . Because, while these tools hold promise, we have to make sure we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. For instance, we can take actions to reduce local harms from mining lithium (a critical component of electric vehicle batteries), improve recycling opportunities for solar cells, and not use carbon capture as an excuse to pollute. To accelerate research and development, funding is the critical third leg of the stool: Governments must make investing in clean energy technologies a priority and spur innovation through grants, subsidies, tax incentives, and other rewards.

A group of protesters hold signs in front of a large banner reading "Charmin: Stop Flushing Our Forests"

A protester rings a bell in front of P&G’s headquarters in Cincinnati; the company’s toilet paper brand, Charmin, uses wood pulp from virgin trees in Canada's boreal forest.

Finally, it should go without saying that we, as individuals, are key to solving the climate crisis—not just by continuing to lobby our legislators and speak up in our communities but also by taking climate actions in our daily lives . By switching off fossil fuels in our homes and being more mindful of the climate footprint of the food we eat, our shopping habits, how we get around, our use of plastics and fossil fuels, and what businesses we choose to support (or not to support), we can move the needle.

But it’s when we act collectively that real change happens—and we can do even more than cut down on carbon pollution. Communities banding together have fought back fracking , pipelines , and oil drilling in people’s backyards . These local wins aren’t just good news for our global climate but they also protect the right to clean air and clean water for everyone. After all, climate change may be a global crisis but climate action starts in your own hometown .

We have a responsibility to consider the implications of our choices—and to make sure that these choices are actually helping to reduce the burdens of climate change, not merely shifting them somewhere else. It’s important to remember that the impacts of climate change —which intersect with and intensify so many other environmental, economic, and social issues—fall disproportionately on certain communities, namely low-income communities and communities of color. That’s why our leaders have a responsibility to prioritize the needs of these communities when crafting climate policies. If those on the frontlines aren’t a part of conversations around climate solutions, or do not feel the benefits of things like cleaner air and better job opportunities, then we are not addressing the roots of the climate crisis.

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A sunset lights a glacier in New Zealand's Fiordland National Park. Around the world, many glaciers are melting quickly as the planet warms.


Are there real ways to fight climate change? Yes.

Humans have the solutions to fight a global environmental crisis. Do we have the will?

The evidence that humans are causing climate change, with drastic consequences for life on the planet, is overwhelming .

Experts began raising the alarm about global warming in 1979 , a change now referred to under the broader term climate change , preferred by scientists to describe the complex shifts now affecting our planet’s weather and climate systems. Climate change encompasses not only rising average temperatures but also extreme weather events, shifting wildlife populations and habitats, rising seas , and a range of other impacts.  

Over 200 countries—193 countries plus the 27 members of the European Union—have signed the Paris Climate Agreement , a treaty created in 2015 to fight climate change on a global scale. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which synthesizes the scientific consensus on the issue, has set a goal of keeping warming under 2°C (3.6°F) and pursuing an even lower warming cap of 1.5 °C (2.7° F).

But no country has created policies that will keep the world below 1.5 °C, according to the Climate Action Tracker . Current emissions have the world on track to warm 2.8°C by the end of this century.  

Addressing climate change will require many solutions —there's no magic bullet. Yet nearly all of these solutions exist today. They range from worldwide changes to where we source our electricity to protecting forests from deforestation.  

The promise of new technology

Better technology will help reduce emissions from activities like manufacturing and driving.  

Scientists are working on ways to sustainably produce hydrogen, most of which is currently derived from natural gas, to feed zero-emission fuel cells for transportation and electricity.  

Renewable energy is growing, and in the U.S., a combination of wind, solar, geothermal, and other renewable sources provide 20 percen t of the nation’s electricity.  

New technological developments promise to build better batteries to store that renewable energy, engineer a smarter electric grid, and capture carbon dioxide from power plants and store it underground or turn it into valuable products such as gasoline . Some argue that nuclear power—despite concerns over safety, water use, and toxic waste—should also be part of the solution, because nuclear plants don't contribute any direct air pollution while operating.

Should we turn to geoengineering?

While halting new greenhouse gas emissions is critical, scientists say we need to extract existing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, effectively sucking it out of the sky.  

Pulling carbon out of the atmosphere is a type of geoengineering , a science that interferes with the Earth’s natural systems, and it’s a controversial approach to fighting climate change.

Other types of geoengineering involve spraying sunlight-reflecting aerosols into the air or blocking the sun with a giant space mirror. Studies suggest we don’t know enough about the potential dangers of geoengineering to deploy it.

a melting iceberg

Restoring nature to protect the planet  

Planting trees, restoring seagrasses, and boosting the use of agricultural cover crops could help clean up significant amounts of carbon dioxide .  

The Amazon rainforest is an important reservoir of the Earth’s carbon, but a study published in 2021, showed deforestation was transforming this reservoir into a source of pollution.  

Restoring and protecting nature may provide as much as   37 percent of the climate mitigation needed to reach the Paris Agreement’s 203o targets. Protecting these ecosystems can also benefit biodiversity, providing a win-win for nature .

Adapt—or else

Communities around the world are already recognizing that adaptation must also be part of the response to climate change . From flood-prone coastal towns to regions facing increased droughts and fires, a new wave of initiatives focuses on boosting resilience . Those include managing or preventing land erosion, building microgrids and other energy systems built to withstand disruptions, and designing buildings with rising sea levels in mind.

Last year, the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law and was a historic investment in fighting and adapting to climate change.

( Read more about how the bill will dramatically reduce emissions. )

Recent books such as Drawdown and Designing Climate Solutions have proposed bold yet simple plans for reversing our current course. The ideas vary, but the message is consistent: We already have many of the tools needed to address climate change. Some of the concepts are broad ones that governments and businesses must implement, but many other ideas involve changes that anyone can make— eating less   meat , for example, or rethinking your modes of transport .

"We have the technology today to rapidly move to a clean energy system," write the authors of Designing Climate Solutions . "And the price of that future, without counting environmental benefits, is about the same as that of a carbon-intensive future."

Sarah Gibbens contributed reporting to this article.


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Home / For Educators: Grades 6-12 / Climate Explained: Introductory Essays About Climate Change Topics

Climate Explained: Introductory Essays About Climate Change Topics

Filed under: backgrounders for educators ,.

Climate Explained, a part of Yale Climate Connections, is an essay collection that addresses an array of climate change questions and topics, including why it’s cold outside if global warming is real, how we know that humans are responsible for global warming, and the relationship between climate change and national security.

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Climate Change Basics: Five Facts, Ten Words

Backgrounders for Educators

To simplify the scientific complexity of climate change, we focus on communicating five key facts about climate change that everyone should know. 

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Why should we care about climate change?

Having different perspectives about global warming is natural, but the most important thing that anyone should know about climate change is why it matters.  

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Renewable energy – powering a safer future

Energy is at the heart of the climate challenge – and key to the solution.

A large chunk of the greenhouse gases that blanket the Earth and trap the sun’s heat are generated through energy production, by burning fossil fuels to generate electricity and heat.

Fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas, are by far the largest contributor to global climate change , accounting for over 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions.

The science is clear: to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, emissions need to be reduced by almost half by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050.

To achieve this, we need to end our reliance on fossil fuels and invest in alternative sources of energy that are clean, accessible, affordable, sustainable, and reliable.

Renewable energy sources – which are available in abundance all around us, provided by the sun, wind, water, waste, and heat from the Earth – are replenished by nature and emit little to no greenhouse gases or pollutants into the air.

Fossil fuels still account for more than 80 percent of global energy production , but cleaner sources of energy are gaining ground. About 29 percent of electricity currently comes from renewable sources.

Here are five reasons why accelerating the transition to clean energy is the pathway to a healthy, livable planet today and for generations to come.

1. Renewable energy sources are all around us

About 80 percent of the global population lives in countries that are net-importers of fossil fuels -- that’s about 6 billion people who are dependent on fossil fuels from other countries, which makes them vulnerable to geopolitical shocks and crises.

In contrast, renewable energy sources are available in all countries, and their potential is yet to be fully harnessed. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates that 90 percent of the world’s electricity can and should come from renewable energy by 2050.

Renewables offer a way out of import dependency, allowing countries to diversify their economies and protect them from the unpredictable price swings of fossil fuels, while driving inclusive economic growth, new jobs, and poverty alleviation.

2. Renewable energy is cheaper

Renewable energy actually is the cheapest power option in most parts of the world today. Prices for renewable energy technologies are dropping rapidly. The cost of electricity from solar power fell by 85 percent between 2010 and 2020. Costs of onshore and offshore wind energy fell by 56 percent and 48 percent respectively.

Falling prices make renewable energy more attractive all around – including to low- and middle-income countries, where most of the additional demand for new electricity will come from. With falling costs, there is a real opportunity for much of the new power supply over the coming years to be provided by low-carbon sources.

Cheap electricity from renewable sources could provide 65 percent of the world’s total electricity supply by 2030. It could decarbonize 90 percent of the power sector by 2050, massively cutting carbon emissions and helping to mitigate climate change.

Although solar and wind power costs are expected to remain higher in 2022 and 2023 then pre-pandemic levels due to general elevated commodity and freight prices, their competitiveness actually improves due to much sharper increases in gas and coal prices, says the International Energy Agency (IEA).

3. Renewable energy is healthier

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 99 percent of people in the world breathe air that exceeds air quality limits and threatens their health, and more than 13 million deaths around the world each year are due to avoidable environmental causes, including air pollution.

The unhealthy levels of fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide originate mainly from the burning of fossil fuels. In 2018, air pollution from fossil fuels caused $2.9 trillion in health and economic costs , about $8 billion a day.

Switching to clean sources of energy, such as wind and solar, thus helps address not only climate change but also air pollution and health.

4. Renewable energy creates jobs

Every dollar of investment in renewables creates three times more jobs than in the fossil fuel industry. The IEA estimates that the transition towards net-zero emissions will lead to an overall increase in energy sector jobs : while about 5 million jobs in fossil fuel production could be lost by 2030, an estimated 14 million new jobs would be created in clean energy, resulting in a net gain of 9 million jobs.

In addition, energy-related industries would require a further 16 million workers, for instance to take on new roles in manufacturing of electric vehicles and hyper-efficient appliances or in innovative technologies such as hydrogen. This means that a total of more than 30 million jobs could be created in clean energy, efficiency, and low-emissions technologies by 2030.

Ensuring a just transition , placing the needs and rights of people at the heart of the energy transition, will be paramount to make sure no one is left behind.

5. Renewable energy makes economic sense

About $7 trillion was spent on subsidizing the fossil fuel industry in 2022, including through explicit subsidies, tax breaks, and health and environmental damages that were not priced into the cost of fossil fuels.

In comparison, about $4 trillion a year needs to be invested in renewable energy until 2030 – including investments in technology and infrastructure – to allow us to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

The upfront cost can be daunting for many countries with limited resources, and many will need financial and technical support to make the transition. But investments in renewable energy will pay off. The reduction of pollution and climate impacts alone could save the world up to $4.2 trillion per year by 2030.

Moreover, efficient, reliable renewable technologies can create a system less prone to market shocks and improve resilience and energy security by diversifying power supply options.

Learn more about how many communities and countries are realizing the economic, societal, and environmental benefits of renewable energy.

Will developing countries benefit from the renewables boom? Learn more here .

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Five ways to jump-start the renewable energy transition now

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Responding to Climate Change

NASA is a world leader in climate studies and Earth science. While its role is not to set climate policy or prescribe particular responses or solutions to climate change, its purview does include providing the robust scientific data needed to understand climate change. NASA then makes this information available to the global community – the public, policy- and decision-makers and scientific and planning agencies around the world.

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Climate change is one of the most complex issues facing us today. It involves many dimensions – science, economics, society, politics, and moral and ethical questions – and is a global problem, felt on local scales, that will be around for thousands of years. Carbon dioxide, the heat-trapping greenhouse gas that is the primary driver of recent global warming, lingers in the atmosphere for many thousands of years, and the planet (especially the ocean) takes a while to respond to warming. So even if we stopped emitting all greenhouse gases today, global warming and climate change will continue to affect future generations. In this way, humanity is “committed” to some level of climate change.

How much climate change? That will be determined by how our emissions continue and exactly how our climate responds to those emissions. Despite increasing awareness of climate change, our emissions of greenhouse gases continue on a relentless rise . In 2013, the daily level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surpassed 400 parts per million for the first time in human history . The last time levels were that high was about three to five million years ago, during the Pliocene Epoch.

Because we are already committed to some level of climate change, responding to climate change involves a two-pronged approach:

  • Reducing emissions of and stabilizing the levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (“mitigation”) ;
  • Adapting to the climate change already in the pipeline (“adaptation”) .

Mitigation and Adaptation

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Mitigation – reducing climate change – involves reducing the flow of heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere , either by reducing sources of these gases (for example, the burning of fossil fuels for electricity, heat, or transport) or enhancing the “sinks” that accumulate and store these gases (such as the oceans, forests, and soil). The goal of mitigation is to avoid significant human interference with Earth's climate , “stabilize greenhouse gas levels in a timeframe sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, ensure that food production is not threatened, and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner” (from the 2014 report on Mitigation of Climate Change from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, page 4).

Adaptation – adapting to life in a changing climate – involves adjusting to actual or expected future climate. The goal is to reduce our risks from the harmful effects of climate change (like sea-level rise, more intense extreme weather events, or food insecurity). It also includes making the most of any potential beneficial opportunities associated with climate change (for example, longer growing seasons or increased yields in some regions).

Throughout history, people and societies have adjusted to and coped with changes in climate and extremes with varying degrees of success. Climate change (drought in particular) has been at least partly responsible for the rise and fall of civilizations . Earth’s climate has been relatively stable for the past 10,000 years, and this stability has allowed for the development of our modern civilization and agriculture. Our modern life is tailored to that stable climate and not the much warmer climate of the next thousand-plus years. As our climate changes, we will need to adapt. The faster the climate changes, the more difficult it will be.

While climate change is a global issue, it is felt on a local scale. Local governments are therefore at the frontline of adaptation. Cities and local communities around the world have been focusing on solving their own climate problems . They are working to build flood defenses, plan for heat waves and higher temperatures, install better-draining pavements to deal with floods and stormwater, and improve water storage and use.

According to the 2014 report on Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability (page 8) from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, governments at various levels are also getting better at adaptation. Climate change is being included into development plans: how to manage the increasingly extreme disasters we are seeing, how to protect coastlines and deal with sea-level rise, how to best manage land and forests, how to deal with and plan for drought, how to develop new crop varieties, and how to protect energy and public infrastructure.

How NASA Is Involved


NASA, with its Eyes on the Earth and wealth of knowledge on Earth’s climate, is one of the world’s experts in climate science . NASA’s role is to provide the robust scientific data needed to understand climate change. For example, data from the agency’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) , its follow-on mission ( GRACE-FO ), the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), and the ICESat-2 missions have shown rapid changes in the Earth's great ice sheets. The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich and the Jason series of missions have documented rising global sea level since 1992.

NASA makes detailed climate data available to the global community – the public, policy-, and decision-makers and scientific and planning agencies around the world. It is not NASA’s role to set climate policy or recommend solutions to climate change. NASA is one of 13 U.S. government agencies that form part of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which has a legal mandate to help the nation and the world understand, assess, predict, and respond to global change. These U.S. partner agencies include the Department of Agriculture , the Environmental Protection Agency , and the Department of Energy , each of which has a different role depending on their area of expertise.

Although NASA’s main focus is not on energy-technology research and development, work is being done around the agency and by/with various partners and collaborators to find other sources of energy to power our needs.

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NPR's Climate Week: A Search For Solutions

Climate solutions are necessary. so we're dedicating a week to highlight them.

Julia Simon

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Wind turbines are seen in Big Spring, Texas. Humans are driving global warming; that means humans can find solutions to change our trajectory. Brandon Bell/Getty Images hide caption

Climate change is here. And this week, NPR is doing something new. We're dedicating an entire week to focus on the search for climate solutions, with stories across our network.

Why we're focusing on climate solutions

We've just emerged from a brutal summer. Heat waves across the U.S. and the world. Fires across Canada . In Maui, the deadliest wildfire in the U.S. in a century. Hurricanes. Melting polar ice. Ocean heat waves killing coral . When I talk with people about climate change, I often hear hopelessness. Like we've already lost. People just throw up their hands. What do you say to that?

I'm Julia Simon, NPR's climate solutions reporter. I know that things are bad right now. But what if we reframe the conversation? With climate change, it's not like this is a meteor hurtling toward Earth and there's nothing we can do about it.

Climate solutions do exist. These 6 experts detail what they look like

Climate solutions do exist. These 6 experts detail what they look like

Humans are driving global warming. And that means we humans can find solutions to change our trajectory. We already have many solutions.

Now is not the time to back away from the challenge. Robert Bullard, professor of urban planning and environmental policy at Texas Southern University, equates this moment to when the U.S. faced past injustices, like slavery.

"I push back against any individuals or organizations that will say, 'Well, we can't do anything about this challenge.' We can do something about it. But it would mean that we have to make up our minds that this is a challenge that we must address on a societal basis and on a global basis," he says. "We should not and cannot accept climate change as the norm."

How we define climate solutions

Broadly speaking, climate solutions are things that reduce greenhouse gases — like solar and wind energy combined with batteries. Energy efficiency. Land use is key too, like reducing deforestation. Individuals can play a role also — for example, eating less meat.

But we have to remind folks that solutions are not all on individuals. A lot of solutions come down to companies and governments.

For example, last year President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act — the most significant piece of climate policy in U.S. history .

Governments can set the agenda for climate policy. We saw this in Brazil; the current president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is cracking down on deforestation in the Amazon . Under his predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's deforestation was surging. So some advocates see voting as a powerful climate solution.

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Trees and other plants help keep cities cooler. In New York City, scientists are working to understand how to maximize the benefits of urban green spaces. Here, residents gather in Brooklyn Bridge Park on a hot summer night. Ryan Kellman/NPR hide caption

Adapting to our warming planet is also a climate solution

We will need to rebuild infrastructure for rising sea levels and new rainfall patterns. Adapting to climate change doesn't mean we're giving up — adaptation is a necessary part of reducing the harms of climate change. Also, planting trees in warming cities provides shade and cools us down. And trees store planet-heating carbon dioxide.

There's a word — "co-benefits." Ways that curbing greenhouse gases might make life better too. If we replace coal- and gas-fired power plants with renewables, we reduce greenhouse gases that warm our planet. But we also end up reducing other kinds of air pollution and make cities better for our lungs. Disadvantaged communities bear the brunt of pollution, so reducing fossil fuels would help communities of color.

Seaweed is mucking up beaches. This robot could stop it — and fight climate change

Seaweed is mucking up beaches. This robot could stop it — and fight climate change

There's an equity component to climate solutions.

Climate solutions should not be repeating inequities and injustices of the past. As we make more batteries and electric vehicles, for example, how do we ensure that mining for the key metals in those technologies is done ethically? How do we avoid mining that pollutes water or grabbing land from Indigenous communities?

And we have to remember that some individuals and companies are more responsible for climate change than others. So how do we hold them accountable? This summer in Montana, 16 young plaintiffs won a climate lawsuit arguing against the state's development of fossil fuels. Last month, California filed suit against several of the world's biggest oil companies. These cases could have major implications across the United States. Accountability can be a climate solution too.

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Natural Solutions to Climate Change

November 21, 2017

In response to climate change, land is key. Today, agriculture, forestry, and other land uses account for roughly a quarter of global greenhouse-gas emissions. But adopting sustainable land management strategies could provide more than one-third of the near-term emission reductions needed to keep warming well below the target—2°C above pre-industrial levels—set by the Paris climate agreement.

Conservation organizations like mine have long been working to balance the interaction between people and nature. But only recently have we fully grasped just how important land-use management is in addressing climate change. With the development of remote sensing, artificial intelligence, and biogeochemical modeling, we can better forecast outcomes, and develop strategies to manage and minimize adverse consequences.

Some of the most promising ways to mitigate climate change are what we call “natural climate solutions”: the conservation, restoration, and improved management of land, in order to increase carbon storage or avoid greenhouse-gas emissions in landscapes worldwide. The full potential of these solutions is detailed in a new study produced by my organization, the Nature Conservancy, and 15 other leading institutions.

Among the most important natural climate solutions is protecting “frontier forests”—pristine woodlands that serve as natural carbon sinks. Intact tropical and northern forests, as well as savannas and coastal ecosystems, store huge amounts of carbon accumulated over centuries. When these areas are disturbed, carbon is released. Preservation of frontier habitats also helps regulate water flows, reduces the risk of flooding, and maintains biodiversity.

Forests Can Absorb Carbon Quicker Than We Thought

Related reading.

New research shows that letting forests regrow on their own could be a secret weapon to fighting climate change.


Reforestation is another important natural solution. Globally, an estimated  two billion hectares  (4.9 billion acres) of land has been  deforested or degraded . Because trees are the best carbon-capture-and-storage technology the world has, reversing these numbers would bring a significant reduction in global carbon levels. We  estimate  that the world could capture three gigatons of CO2 annually—equivalent to taking more than 600 million cars off the roads—simply by planting more trees.

A third category of natural solution is agricultural reform. From field to fork, the food sector is a major contributor to climate change through direct and indirect emissions, and by its often-negative effects on soil health and deforestation. Recognizing these risks, 23 global companies—including Nestlé, McDonald’s, Tesco, and Unilever—recently signed a commitment to halt deforestation in Brazil’s Cerrado savanna. The region, which covers a quarter of the country, has come under growing pressure from production of beef,  soy , and other commodities, together with the associated infrastructure.

A close up of a mossy log in a pacific northwest forest.

As the Cerrado pledge demonstrates, when governments and businesses come together to address land-use challenges, the impact is potent. Natural climate solutions have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by an estimated 11.3 billion tons a year – equal to a complete halt in burning oil, according to our study. 

One recent study  calculated that if Brazil reached zero deforestation by 2030, it would add 0.6% of GDP, or about $15 billion, to its economy. Communities also reap secondary benefits—such as rural regeneration, improved food and water security, and coastal resilience – when natural climate solutions are implemented.

Yet, despite the data supporting better land-use decision-making, something isn’t adding up. In 2016, the world witnessed a dramatic  51% increase in forest loss , equivalent to an area about the size of New Zealand. We need to buck this trend now, and help the world realize that land-use planning is not simply a conservation story.

Boreal Forest

Nature’s Make or Break for Climate Change

Research shows nature could provide one third of the emission reductions needed to tackle climate change.


Some countries are moving in the right direction. The Indian government, for example, has set aside $6 billion  for states to invest in forest restoration. In Indonesia, the government created a dedicated agency to protect and restore peatlands, bogs, and swamp-like ecosystems that have immense CO 2 storage capabilities.

But they are the exceptions. Of the 160 countries that committed to implementing the Paris climate agreement, only 36 have specified land-use management in their emissions-reduction strategies.

Overcoming inertia will not be easy. Forests, farms, and coasts vary in size, type, and accessibility. Moreover, the lives of hundreds of millions of people are tied to these ecosystems, and projects that restore forest cover or improve soil health require focused planning, a massive undertaking for many governments.

One way to get things moving, especially in the agricultural sector, would be to remove or redirect subsidies that encourage excessive consumption of fertilizers, water, or energy in food production. As Indian government officials reminded their peers during a World Trade Organization meeting earlier this year, meaningful agricultural reforms can begin only when rich countries reduce the “ disproportionately large ” subsidies they give their own farmers.

An irrigation device in front of a field of young corn on Meaker Farm in Colorado.

Supporting innovation and entrepreneurship can also help power change. New processes and technologies in landscape planning, soil analysis, irrigation, and even alternative proteins such as plant-based meat are making agriculture and land use more sustainable. Similarly, changes in the construction industry, which is turning to more efficiently produced products like cross-laminated timber (CLT), can help reduce carbon pollution.

Finally, financing options for natural climate solutions must be dramatically increased. While payments to conserve forests are starting to flow under the UN’s REDD+ program , and the Green Climate Fund has committed $500 million for forest protection payments, total public investment in sustainable land use remains inadequate. According to the Climate Policy Initiative , public financing for agriculture, forestry, and land-use mitigation attracted just $3 billion in 2014, compared to $49 billion for renewable energy generation and $26 billion for energy efficiency.

At the UN climate change meeting that just concluded in Bonn, Germany, global leaders reaffirmed that the world cannot respond adequately to rising temperatures if governments continue ignoring how forests, farms , and coasts are managed. Now that there is a firm consensus, governments must act on it.

Originally Posted on  Project Syndicate December 22, 2017 View Original

Related Reading

Old growth forest in Washington state.

Nature’s Make or Break Potential for Climate Change

This study shows we’ve been underestimating nature’s role in tackling climate change.

Looking up at evergreen trees in California

There is a Forgotten Solution to Climate Change That We Must Invest In – Nature

We have forgotten the role nature can play in mitigating climate change.

By Justin Adams

Fall foliage in the Brown County Hills, Indiana

A Natural Path for U.S. Climate Action

The United States could mitigate a fifth of its emissions through conservation and land management.

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Climate solutions: When climate action means better roads

In development, climate solutions build the tools that help countries adapt to climate change, including extreme weather events that can damage existing infrastructure

  • Part of the series "Climate Solutions (Essays)"
  • 22 October 2019

>> “ Climate Solutions ” is also available as a podcast and an e-book .

By Diego Ferrer, Birgitte Keulen and Meryn Martens

To those of us in the developed world, climate action means switching to electric vehicles, taking a bike or public transport. By contrast, in the developing world, climate action also requires better roads.

That’s not because we want people in the developing world to drive more fossil-fuel cars. It’s to protect them against the disastrous human and economic effects of climate change that occur when roads are flooded, covered by landslides or interrupted by unusable bridges. This is an important element in the battle against climate change and it requires major contributions from multilateral development banks like the European Investment Bank and supranational bodies like the European Union.

This “ adaptation ” to climate change is an important component of the European approach to climate action, making sure infrastructure and people are better prepared to cope with extreme weather and protected from its consequences. The European Investment Bank, which is expanding its adaptation work with the support of the European Commission, has built substantial climate expertise on innovative European projects. Ally that with its extensive financial resources and it can have a real impact in the world’s poorest countries.

Rising sea levels and the increased intensity of storms already affect many areas, particularly in developing countries, including small island states.

Even if the world succeeds in keeping temperature rises below the target of 2 degrees Celsius set out under the Paris Agreement, the climate has already changed enough to put many countries and regions at greater risk from extreme weather events. Rising sea levels and the increased intensity of storms already affect many areas, particularly in developing countries, including small island states.

In this context, adaptation has a very clear economic and human angle . When a road has been washed away by a storm, there is an obvious economic cost in lost trade, because the road is impassable to commercial trucks. However, the road is also impassable to workers or visitors, as well as to emergency services dealing with the effects of the storm. In the longer-term, children can’t get to school and patients can’t schedule regular hospital treatments.

What is climate adaptation?

Climate adaptation moderates harm or finds beneficial opportunities that result from changes in natural or human systems caused by actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects

In developing countries, design standards and maintenance provisions are sometimes lower due to budget constraints and are not always based on recent extreme weather predictions.

Three development climate solutions

Why are developing countries so vulnerable? It’s to do with the way they build their roads.

Roads are built to last from 20 to 50 years and to withstand extreme weather events that occur only once in 50 to 100 years. Climate change means that these events will become more severe. In developing countries, design standards and maintenance provisions are sometimes lower due to budget constraints and are not always based on recent extreme weather predictions. At the same time, existing infrastructure may degrade faster due to harsh weather conditions, resulting in the need for earlier upgrade and replacement.

Three recent projects approved by the European Investment Bank show the scope of its adaptation work.

In December 2018, the EU bank signed a €20 million loan to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. In concert with a €5 million grant from the EU’s Asia Investment Facility signed in April, this will ensure that 1 400 km of vulnerable rural roads across six Laotian provinces are protected against the effects of the country’s increasingly long and dramatic rainy season.

The project improves and reinforces roads so the 1.6 million Lao in those provinces can stay connected to vital economic and social networks.

The European Investment Bank works in close cooperation with the EU External Action Service, the European Commission and the EU delegation to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on the ground, as well as with other development banks. It builds resilient roads, and together with other multilateral development banks it ensures that besides actual project implementation capacity building is also taking place to build the long-term sustainability of its investments in developing countries.

The EU bank’s development adaptation work often includes technical assistance and project advice that helps local engineers adapt to an uncertain future climate. For example, the European Investment Bank is advising on a project to build a coastal defence system for the capital of São Tomé. Its contribution requires a lot of time, funding and coordination. But it will result in climate-adapted infrastructure that will be hugely beneficial to our partner countries in the long term.

What is capacity building?

Capacity building is the process by which skills, experience and technical and management capabilities are developed. These elements might be developed within a range of organisations, including contractors, consultants or agencies. Capacity building is often the result of the provision of technical assistance, training and specialist inputs.

A bridge to development

Similarly the European Investment Bank has also approved infrastructure projects in Haiti and the Dominican Republic after natural disasters struck there.

In Haiti, the European Investment Bank approved a €25 million loan to Haiti in April 2019 to build bridges and rebuild bridges destroyed by Hurricane Matthew. The bridges are needed as evacuation routes during storms—increasingly frequent, due to climate change—as well as providing economic links for people who presently are cut off during rain storms. The bridges will be financed through the European Investment Bank loan and supported by help on the ground and grants from the Inter-American Development Bank and the Caribbean Investment Facility, a regional blending facility of the European Union.

Across the border in the Dominican Republic, a similar post-disaster reconstruction project will include social housing, waterworks to prevent flooding, and of course rural roads that are more resilient. This will be financed through an EIB loan and a grant from the Caribbean Investment Facility.

Development climate adaptation for future extremes

These experiences help us lay important foundations for development. Our methodology for assessing adaptation investment—developed in coordination with other multilaterals—brings rigour to the planning of infrastructure work that will increase the impact of the investment and make it last longer. As well as helping to repair infrastructure that has been damaged, the European Investment Bank also ensures that the quality of the rehabilitated roads or bridges are of a higher standard and thus better able to withstand future extreme weather events.

This is as important for transport projects that are aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions, such as our major investments in the Lucknow and Cairo metros, as it is vital in adaptation projects, such as the loan for roads in Laos.

That also means partnership. We already mentioned the Haiti bridge project that is implemented in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank. The European Investment Bank also joined with the Asian Development Bank  to finance the Vientiane Urban Transport project to introduce a bus rapid transit system in the capital of Laos and substantially increase the quality of life in the city. The Bank is also examining other areas of infrastructure cooperation with the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, in line with overall EU policies to reduce poverty according to the agenda 2030 and the socio-economic development plan of Laos.

Bespoke urban climate adaptation

Rural roads are not the only aspect of mobility and development in which adaptation is of increasing significance. The city is the nexus of one of the greatest climate challenges facing international institutions. Climate change runs on a parallel track to the massive increase in urban population forecast for the coming decades. By 2030, the UN predicts that 68% of the world’s population will live in cities, compared to 55% now. Much of this growth will come in developing countries and is linked to broader demographic trends. Some African and Asian countries are expected to double their populations by 2050, according to the UN, and most of that growth will be in cities.

Urban transport solutions are different from those for interurban mobility. Cities in Asia, the US and the EU require bespoke solutions, because of different density characteristics. (Think of Tokyo and then think of Los Angeles. One size does not fit all.)

We need to keep working on these solutions and to increase the resources we devote to them. That’s why the European Investment Bank should get the financing it needs for its activities outside the EU. It is also why we are planning to set up a subsidiary devoted to development work.

In cooperation with other European institutions, we will build on our current expertise to expand our future impact.

Climate solutions in transport if you’re a…

  • adaptation policies that make our infrastructure more resilient to climate change
  • mitigation policies that help to avoid or reduce travel related greenhouse gas emmissions, such as teleworking, good public transport, cycling and walking infrastructure and electric cars
  • policies that help develop and scale-up technologies that fit with a decarbonised future.
  • Citizens: As a citizen, you cannot adapt the infrastructure, but you can live closer to your work. Consider whether you need to take that long trip. Take public transport, a bike or go by foot and switch to an electric vehicle.
  • Financial institutions: Invest in the solutions that help climate adaptation and mitigation.

Diego Ferrer is a lead economist for strategic roads at the European Investment Bank. Birgitte Keulen is senior engineer for regional transport programmes, and Meryn Martens is lead engineer for urban mobility.

You may like...

Get used to it.

Even if we invest in innovative climate action, the impact of global warming will still be severe. Developing countries climate adaptation projects are crucial to help people and places adapt to climate change impacts

When climate action means better roads

Hear how developing countries are working to protect their economies—and their people—from climate change in our climate podcast development episode

Delivering on adaptation

Even as we try to control global warming, we must ensure that people can live safely with its consequences. Adaptation projects are crucial. Here’s how to bring vital finance to the sector with multilateral development banks leading the way

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Essay on Climate Change

Climate Change Essay - The globe is growing increasingly sensitive to climate change. It is currently a serious worldwide concern. The term "Climate Change" describes changes to the earth's climate. It explains the atmospheric changes that have occurred across time, spanning from decades to millions of years. Here are some sample essays on climate change.

100 Words Essay on Climate Change

200 words essay on climate change, 500 words essay on climate change.

Essay on Climate Change

The climatic conditions on Earth are changing due to climate change. Several internal and external variables, such as solar radiation, variations in the Earth's orbit, volcanic eruptions, plate tectonics, etc., are to blame for this.

There are strategies for climate change reduction. If not implemented, the weather might get worse, there might be water scarcity, there could be lower agricultural output, and it might affect people's ability to make a living. In order to breathe clean air and drink pure water, you must concentrate on limiting human activity. These are the simple measures that may be taken to safeguard the environment and its resources.

The climate of the Earth has changed significantly over time. While some of these changes were brought on by natural events like volcanic eruptions, floods, forest fires, etc., many of the changes were brought on by human activity. The burning of fossil fuels, domesticating livestock, and other human activities produce a significant quantity of greenhouse gases. This results in an increase of greenhouse effect and global warming which are the major causes for climate change.

Reasons of Climate Change

Some of the reasons of climate change are:


Excessive use of fossil fuels

Water and soil pollution

Plastic and other non biodegradable waste

Wildlife and nature extinction

Consequences of Climate Change

All kinds of life on earth will be affected by climate change if it continues to change at the same pace. The earth's temperature will increase, the monsoon patterns will shift, the sea level will rise, and there will be more frequent storms, volcano eruptions, and other natural calamities. The earth's biological and ecological equilibrium will be disturbed. Humans won't be able to access clean water or air to breathe when the environment becomes contaminated. The end of life on this earth is imminent. To reduce the issue of climate change, we need to bring social awareness along with strict measures to protect and preserve the natural environment.

A shift in the world's climatic pattern is referred to as climate change. Over the centuries, the climate pattern of our planet has undergone modifications. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has significantly grown.

When Did Climate Change Begin

It is possible to see signs of climate change as early as the beginning of the industrial revolution. The pace at which the manufacturers produced things on a large scale required a significant amount of raw materials. Since the raw materials being transformed into finished products now have such huge potential for profit, these business models have spread quickly over the world. Hazardous substances and chemicals build up in the environment as a result of company emissions and waste disposal.

Although climate change is a natural occurrence, it is evident that human activity is turning into the primary cause of the current climate change situation. The major cause is the growing population. Natural resources are utilised more and more as a result of the population's fast growth placing a heavy burden on the available resources. Over time, as more and more products and services are created, pollution will eventually increase.

Causes of Climate Change

There are a number of factors that have contributed towards weather change in the past and continue to do so. Let us look at a few:

Solar Radiation |The climate of earth is determined by how quickly the sun's energy is absorbed and distributed throughout space. This energy is transmitted throughout the world by the winds, ocean currents etc which affects the climatic conditions of the world. Changes in solar intensity have an effect on the world's climate.

Deforestation | The atmosphere's carbon dioxide is stored by trees. As a result of their destruction, carbon dioxide builds up more quickly since there are no trees to absorb it. Additionally, trees release the carbon they stored when we burn them.

Agriculture | Many kinds of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere by growing crops and raising livestock. Animals, for instance, create methane, a greenhouse gas that is 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The nitrous oxide used in fertilisers is roughly 300 times more strong than carbon dioxide.

How to Prevent Climate Change

We need to look out for drastic steps to stop climate change since it is affecting the resources and life on our planet. We can stop climate change if the right solutions are put in place. Here are some strategies for reducing climate change:

Raising public awareness of climate change

Prohibiting tree-cutting and deforestation.

Ensure the surroundings are clean.

Refrain from using chemical fertilisers.

Water and other natural resource waste should be reduced.

Protect the animals and plants.

Purchase energy-efficient goods and equipment.

Increase the number of trees in the neighbourhood and its surroundings.

Follow the law and safeguard the environment's resources.

Reduce the amount of energy you use.

During the last few decades especially, climate change has grown to be of concern. Global concern has been raised over changes in the Earth's climatic pattern. The causes of climate change are numerous, as well as the effects of it and it is our responsibility as inhabitants of this planet to look after its well being and leave it in a better condition for future generations.

Explore Career Options (By Industry)

  • Construction
  • Entertainment
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  • Information Technology

Data Administrator

Database professionals use software to store and organise data such as financial information, and customer shipping records. Individuals who opt for a career as data administrators ensure that data is available for users and secured from unauthorised sales. DB administrators may work in various types of industries. It may involve computer systems design, service firms, insurance companies, banks and hospitals.

Bio Medical Engineer

The field of biomedical engineering opens up a universe of expert chances. An Individual in the biomedical engineering career path work in the field of engineering as well as medicine, in order to find out solutions to common problems of the two fields. The biomedical engineering job opportunities are to collaborate with doctors and researchers to develop medical systems, equipment, or devices that can solve clinical problems. Here we will be discussing jobs after biomedical engineering, how to get a job in biomedical engineering, biomedical engineering scope, and salary. 

Ethical Hacker

A career as ethical hacker involves various challenges and provides lucrative opportunities in the digital era where every giant business and startup owns its cyberspace on the world wide web. Individuals in the ethical hacker career path try to find the vulnerabilities in the cyber system to get its authority. If he or she succeeds in it then he or she gets its illegal authority. Individuals in the ethical hacker career path then steal information or delete the file that could affect the business, functioning, or services of the organization.

Data Analyst

The invention of the database has given fresh breath to the people involved in the data analytics career path. Analysis refers to splitting up a whole into its individual components for individual analysis. Data analysis is a method through which raw data are processed and transformed into information that would be beneficial for user strategic thinking.

Data are collected and examined to respond to questions, evaluate hypotheses or contradict theories. It is a tool for analyzing, transforming, modeling, and arranging data with useful knowledge, to assist in decision-making and methods, encompassing various strategies, and is used in different fields of business, research, and social science.

Water Manager

A career as water manager needs to provide clean water, preventing flood damage, and disposing of sewage and other wastes. He or she also repairs and maintains structures that control the flow of water, such as reservoirs, sea defense walls, and pumping stations. In addition to these, the Manager has other responsibilities related to water resource management.

Geothermal Engineer

Individuals who opt for a career as geothermal engineers are the professionals involved in the processing of geothermal energy. The responsibilities of geothermal engineers may vary depending on the workplace location. Those who work in fields design facilities to process and distribute geothermal energy. They oversee the functioning of machinery used in the field.

Geotechnical engineer

The role of geotechnical engineer starts with reviewing the projects needed to define the required material properties. The work responsibilities are followed by a site investigation of rock, soil, fault distribution and bedrock properties on and below an area of interest. The investigation is aimed to improve the ground engineering design and determine their engineering properties that include how they will interact with, on or in a proposed construction. 

The role of geotechnical engineer in mining includes designing and determining the type of foundations, earthworks, and or pavement subgrades required for the intended man-made structures to be made. Geotechnical engineering jobs are involved in earthen and concrete dam construction projects, working under a range of normal and extreme loading conditions. 

Operations Manager

Individuals in the operations manager jobs are responsible for ensuring the efficiency of each department to acquire its optimal goal. They plan the use of resources and distribution of materials. The operations manager's job description includes managing budgets, negotiating contracts, and performing administrative tasks.

Budget Analyst

Budget analysis, in a nutshell, entails thoroughly analyzing the details of a financial budget. The budget analysis aims to better understand and manage revenue. Budget analysts assist in the achievement of financial targets, the preservation of profitability, and the pursuit of long-term growth for a business. Budget analysts generally have a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, economics, or a closely related field. Knowledge of Financial Management is of prime importance in this career.

Finance Executive

Product manager.

A Product Manager is a professional responsible for product planning and marketing. He or she manages the product throughout the Product Life Cycle, gathering and prioritising the product. A product manager job description includes defining the product vision and working closely with team members of other departments to deliver winning products.  

Investment Banker

An Investment Banking career involves the invention and generation of capital for other organizations, governments, and other entities. Individuals who opt for a career as Investment Bankers are the head of a team dedicated to raising capital by issuing bonds. Investment bankers are termed as the experts who have their fingers on the pulse of the current financial and investing climate. Students can pursue various Investment Banker courses, such as Banking and Insurance , and  Economics to opt for an Investment Banking career path.


An underwriter is a person who assesses and evaluates the risk of insurance in his or her field like mortgage, loan, health policy, investment, and so on and so forth. The underwriter career path does involve risks as analysing the risks means finding out if there is a way for the insurance underwriter jobs to recover the money from its clients. If the risk turns out to be too much for the company then in the future it is an underwriter who will be held accountable for it. Therefore, one must carry out his or her job with a lot of attention and diligence.

Fund Manager

Welding engineer.

Welding Engineer Job Description: A Welding Engineer work involves managing welding projects and supervising welding teams. He or she is responsible for reviewing welding procedures, processes and documentation. A career as Welding Engineer involves conducting failure analyses and causes on welding issues. 

Transportation Planner

A career as Transportation Planner requires technical application of science and technology in engineering, particularly the concepts, equipment and technologies involved in the production of products and services. In fields like land use, infrastructure review, ecological standards and street design, he or she considers issues of health, environment and performance. A Transportation Planner assigns resources for implementing and designing programmes. He or she is responsible for assessing needs, preparing plans and forecasts and compliance with regulations.

Landscape Architect

Having a landscape architecture career, you are involved in site analysis, site inventory, land planning, planting design, grading, stormwater management, suitable design, and construction specification. Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of Central Park in New York introduced the title “landscape architect”. The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) proclaims that "Landscape Architects research, plan, design and advise on the stewardship, conservation and sustainability of development of the environment and spaces, both within and beyond the built environment". Therefore, individuals who opt for a career as a landscape architect are those who are educated and experienced in landscape architecture. Students need to pursue various landscape architecture degrees, such as  M.Des , M.Plan to become landscape architects. If you have more questions regarding a career as a landscape architect or how to become a landscape architect then you can read the article to get your doubts cleared. 

Urban Planner

Urban Planning careers revolve around the idea of developing a plan to use the land optimally, without affecting the environment. Urban planning jobs are offered to those candidates who are skilled in making the right use of land to distribute the growing population, to create various communities. 

Urban planning careers come with the opportunity to make changes to the existing cities and towns. They identify various community needs and make short and long-term plans accordingly.

An expert in plumbing is aware of building regulations and safety standards and works to make sure these standards are upheld. Testing pipes for leakage using air pressure and other gauges, and also the ability to construct new pipe systems by cutting, fitting, measuring and threading pipes are some of the other more involved aspects of plumbing. Individuals in the plumber career path are self-employed or work for a small business employing less than ten people, though some might find working for larger entities or the government more desirable.

Construction Manager

Individuals who opt for a career as construction managers have a senior-level management role offered in construction firms. Responsibilities in the construction management career path are assigning tasks to workers, inspecting their work, and coordinating with other professionals including architects, subcontractors, and building services engineers.

Environmental Engineer

Individuals who opt for a career as an environmental engineer are construction professionals who utilise the skills and knowledge of biology, soil science, chemistry and the concept of engineering to design and develop projects that serve as solutions to various environmental problems. 

Naval Architect

A Naval Architect is a professional who designs, produces and repairs safe and sea-worthy surfaces or underwater structures. A Naval Architect stays involved in creating and designing ships, ferries, submarines and yachts with implementation of various principles such as gravity, ideal hull form, buoyancy and stability. 

Orthotist and Prosthetist

Orthotists and Prosthetists are professionals who provide aid to patients with disabilities. They fix them to artificial limbs (prosthetics) and help them to regain stability. There are times when people lose their limbs in an accident. In some other occasions, they are born without a limb or orthopaedic impairment. Orthotists and prosthetists play a crucial role in their lives with fixing them to assistive devices and provide mobility.

Veterinary Doctor


A career in pathology in India is filled with several responsibilities as it is a medical branch and affects human lives. The demand for pathologists has been increasing over the past few years as people are getting more aware of different diseases. Not only that, but an increase in population and lifestyle changes have also contributed to the increase in a pathologist’s demand. The pathology careers provide an extremely huge number of opportunities and if you want to be a part of the medical field you can consider being a pathologist. If you want to know more about a career in pathology in India then continue reading this article.

Speech Therapist


Gynaecology can be defined as the study of the female body. The job outlook for gynaecology is excellent since there is evergreen demand for one because of their responsibility of dealing with not only women’s health but also fertility and pregnancy issues. Although most women prefer to have a women obstetrician gynaecologist as their doctor, men also explore a career as a gynaecologist and there are ample amounts of male doctors in the field who are gynaecologists and aid women during delivery and childbirth. 


The audiologist career involves audiology professionals who are responsible to treat hearing loss and proactively preventing the relevant damage. Individuals who opt for a career as an audiologist use various testing strategies with the aim to determine if someone has a normal sensitivity to sounds or not. After the identification of hearing loss, a hearing doctor is required to determine which sections of the hearing are affected, to what extent they are affected, and where the wound causing the hearing loss is found. As soon as the hearing loss is identified, the patients are provided with recommendations for interventions and rehabilitation such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, and appropriate medical referrals. While audiology is a branch of science that studies and researches hearing, balance, and related disorders.

An oncologist is a specialised doctor responsible for providing medical care to patients diagnosed with cancer. He or she uses several therapies to control the cancer and its effect on the human body such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy and biopsy. An oncologist designs a treatment plan based on a pathology report after diagnosing the type of cancer and where it is spreading inside the body.

A career as a doctor is a clinical professional that involves providing services in healthcare facilities. Individuals in the doctor's career path are responsible for diagnosing, examining, and identifying diseases, disorders, and illnesses of patients. Individuals in the doctor career in India provide surgical, medicinal, and therapeutic care to patients in hospital, healthcare, and clinical lab settings.

For an individual who opts for a career as an actor, the primary responsibility is to completely speak to the character he or she is playing and to persuade the crowd that the character is genuine by connecting with them and bringing them into the story. This applies to significant roles and littler parts, as all roles join to make an effective creation. Here in this article, we will discuss how to become an actor in India, actor exams, actor salary in India, and actor jobs. 

Individuals who opt for a career as acrobats create and direct original routines for themselves, in addition to developing interpretations of existing routines. The work of circus acrobats can be seen in a variety of performance settings, including circus, reality shows, sports events like the Olympics, movies and commercials. Individuals who opt for a career as acrobats must be prepared to face rejections and intermittent periods of work. The creativity of acrobats may extend to other aspects of the performance. For example, acrobats in the circus may work with gym trainers, celebrities or collaborate with other professionals to enhance such performance elements as costume and or maybe at the teaching end of the career.

Video Game Designer

Career as a video game designer is filled with excitement as well as responsibilities. A video game designer is someone who is involved in the process of creating a game from day one. He or she is responsible for fulfilling duties like designing the character of the game, the several levels involved, plot, art and similar other elements. Individuals who opt for a career as a video game designer may also write the codes for the game using different programming languages.

Depending on the video game designer job description and experience they may also have to lead a team and do the early testing of the game in order to suggest changes and find loopholes.

Radio Jockey

Radio Jockey is an exciting, promising career and a great challenge for music lovers. If you are really interested in a career as radio jockey, then it is very important for an RJ to have an automatic, fun, and friendly personality. If you want to get a job done in this field, a strong command of the language and a good voice are always good things. Apart from this, in order to be a good radio jockey, you will also listen to good radio jockeys so that you can understand their style and later make your own by practicing.

A career as radio jockey has a lot to offer to deserving candidates. If you want to know more about a career as radio jockey, and how to become a radio jockey then continue reading the article.


Multimedia specialist.

A multimedia specialist is a media professional who creates, audio, videos, graphic image files, computer animations for multimedia applications. He or she is responsible for planning, producing, and maintaining websites and applications. 

An individual who is pursuing a career as a producer is responsible for managing the business aspects of production. They are involved in each aspect of production from its inception to deception. Famous movie producers review the script, recommend changes and visualise the story. 

They are responsible for overseeing the finance involved in the project and distributing the film for broadcasting on various platforms. A career as a producer is quite fulfilling as well as exhaustive in terms of playing different roles in order for a production to be successful. Famous movie producers are responsible for hiring creative and technical personnel on contract basis.

Fashion Blogger

Fashion bloggers use multiple social media platforms to recommend or share ideas related to fashion. A fashion blogger is a person who writes about fashion, publishes pictures of outfits, jewellery, accessories. Fashion blogger works as a model, journalist, and a stylist in the fashion industry. In current fashion times, these bloggers have crossed into becoming a star in fashion magazines, commercials, or campaigns. 

Copy Writer

In a career as a copywriter, one has to consult with the client and understand the brief well. A career as a copywriter has a lot to offer to deserving candidates. Several new mediums of advertising are opening therefore making it a lucrative career choice. Students can pursue various copywriter courses such as Journalism , Advertising , Marketing Management . Here, we have discussed how to become a freelance copywriter, copywriter career path, how to become a copywriter in India, and copywriting career outlook. 

Individuals in the editor career path is an unsung hero of the news industry who polishes the language of the news stories provided by stringers, reporters, copywriters and content writers and also news agencies. Individuals who opt for a career as an editor make it more persuasive, concise and clear for readers. In this article, we will discuss the details of the editor's career path such as how to become an editor in India, editor salary in India and editor skills and qualities.

Careers in journalism are filled with excitement as well as responsibilities. One cannot afford to miss out on the details. As it is the small details that provide insights into a story. Depending on those insights a journalist goes about writing a news article. A journalism career can be stressful at times but if you are someone who is passionate about it then it is the right choice for you. If you want to know more about the media field and journalist career then continue reading this article.

For publishing books, newspapers, magazines and digital material, editorial and commercial strategies are set by publishers. Individuals in publishing career paths make choices about the markets their businesses will reach and the type of content that their audience will be served. Individuals in book publisher careers collaborate with editorial staff, designers, authors, and freelance contributors who develop and manage the creation of content.

In a career as a vlogger, one generally works for himself or herself. However, once an individual has gained viewership there are several brands and companies that approach them for paid collaboration. It is one of those fields where an individual can earn well while following his or her passion. 

Ever since internet costs got reduced the viewership for these types of content has increased on a large scale. Therefore, a career as a vlogger has a lot to offer. If you want to know more about the Vlogger eligibility, roles and responsibilities then continue reading the article. 

Travel Journalist

The career of a travel journalist is full of passion, excitement and responsibility. Journalism as a career could be challenging at times, but if you're someone who has been genuinely enthusiastic about all this, then it is the best decision for you. Travel journalism jobs are all about insightful, artfully written, informative narratives designed to cover the travel industry. Travel Journalist is someone who explores, gathers and presents information as a news article.

SEO Analyst

An SEO Analyst is a web professional who is proficient in the implementation of SEO strategies to target more keywords to improve the reach of the content on search engines. He or she provides support to acquire the goals and success of the client’s campaigns. 

Quality Controller

A quality controller plays a crucial role in an organisation. He or she is responsible for performing quality checks on manufactured products. He or she identifies the defects in a product and rejects the product. 

A quality controller records detailed information about products with defects and sends it to the supervisor or plant manager to take necessary actions to improve the production process.

Production Manager

Reliability engineer.

Are you searching for a Reliability Engineer job description? A Reliability Engineer is responsible for ensuring long lasting and high quality products. He or she ensures that materials, manufacturing equipment, components and processes are error free. A Reliability Engineer role comes with the responsibility of minimising risks and effectiveness of processes and equipment. 

Safety Manager

A Safety Manager is a professional responsible for employee’s safety at work. He or she plans, implements and oversees the company’s employee safety. A Safety Manager ensures compliance and adherence to Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) guidelines.

Corporate Executive

Are you searching for a Corporate Executive job description? A Corporate Executive role comes with administrative duties. He or she provides support to the leadership of the organisation. A Corporate Executive fulfils the business purpose and ensures its financial stability. In this article, we are going to discuss how to become corporate executive.

AWS Solution Architect

An AWS Solution Architect is someone who specializes in developing and implementing cloud computing systems. He or she has a good understanding of the various aspects of cloud computing and can confidently deploy and manage their systems. He or she troubleshoots the issues and evaluates the risk from the third party. 

Azure Administrator

An Azure Administrator is a professional responsible for implementing, monitoring, and maintaining Azure Solutions. He or she manages cloud infrastructure service instances and various cloud servers as well as sets up public and private cloud systems. 

Information Security Manager

Individuals in the information security manager career path involves in overseeing and controlling all aspects of computer security. The IT security manager job description includes planning and carrying out security measures to protect the business data and information from corruption, theft, unauthorised access, and deliberate attack 

Computer Programmer

Careers in computer programming primarily refer to the systematic act of writing code and moreover include wider computer science areas. The word 'programmer' or 'coder' has entered into practice with the growing number of newly self-taught tech enthusiasts. Computer programming careers involve the use of designs created by software developers and engineers and transforming them into commands that can be implemented by computers. These commands result in regular usage of social media sites, word-processing applications and browsers.

ITSM Manager

It consultant.

An IT Consultant is a professional who is also known as a technology consultant. He or she is required to provide consultation to industrial and commercial clients to resolve business and IT problems and acquire optimum growth. An IT consultant can find work by signing up with an IT consultancy firm, or he or she can work on their own as independent contractors and select the projects he or she wants to work on.

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Impact case study

An economic solution to climate change that could save trillions.

  Thank you to the Grantham Research Institute of the LSE for their hard work behind the scenes. Christiana Figueres Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Professor Simon Dietz

Research by

Professor Simon Dietz

Department of geography and environment, prof. sam fankhauser, director, grantham research institute on climate change and the environment.

LSE research helped governments worldwide put a price on carbon that could curb harmful emissions and save $1 trillion annually

What was the issue?

Amid rising concern over the impact of climate change, policymakers have been looking at ways to reduce carbon emissions.

''For economists the problem is that polluters are not required to bear the full cost of the pollution they create in terms of the costs to wider society.''

Economists have argued that putting a “price” on carbon, so that polluters are forced to take into account the negative effects of their harmful emissions, must be a core element of an economically efficient strategy to curb these emissions.

However, the pricing of carbon emissions is by no means an easy or straightforward undertaking. The approaches to such pricing are numerous, complex and competing, making it particularly challenging for policymakers, many with only a layperson's understanding, to decide on an optimal approach.

The stakes are huge. Estimates suggest that the cost savings from an economically efficient policy intervention could be as high $1 trillion a year globally.

What did we do?

Many countries such as the UK use cost-benefit analysis to evaluate new spending and regulations. The original approach used to price a ton of emissions was the so-called “social cost of carbon” - the economic value of the damage caused by an extra ton of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change (2006) estimated the total cost of climate change to be equivalent to a one-off, permanent 5-20% loss in global average (mean) per-person spending in today’s money. The cost of each extra ton of carbon emitted today was estimated to be around $312.

Researchers at LSE's Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, led by Associate Professor Simon Dietz, subsequently updated the economic modelling that they had produced for the Stern Review.

They showed that the social cost of carbon that had been used in the Stern Review had a high level of uncertainty. They concluded that the most robust measure of the price of carbon for cost-benefit analysis should be the cost of cutting each extra ton of emissions.

Professor Sam Fankhauser and colleagues also looked at the specific tools being proposed to impose a price on carbon, such as carbon taxes and cap-and-trade. The latter was an approach in which governments set a limit or "cap" on certain types of emissions and polluting companies could sell or "trade" the unused portion of their limits to companies that were struggling to comply.

The researchers examined important design elements of cap-and-trade systems. These included: how to bank and borrow emissions permits and how this process interacted with other markets, taxes and subsidies; and ways to keep the permit price from rising too high or falling too low.

They also documented how carbon pricing policies had been implemented across the world so that countries could learn about what other jurisdictions were doing and become aware of good ideas and practices being tested elsewhere.

“Thank you to the Grantham Research Institute of the LSE for their hard work behind the scenes.”

 - Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

What happened?

The research has influenced both the policy thinking as well as the design and substance of carbon pricing legislation in the UK and elsewhere in the world.

Carbon pricing in the UK

In 2009 the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) changed its guidance on the price of carbon for cost-benefit analysis, from using the social cost of carbon to using the marginal cost of cutting emissions, as the LSE research had proposed.

DECC's report cited Dietz, who had been one of six independent peer-reviewers of the interim guidance produced in 2007. He was employed as a consultant by DECC for the preparation of the new guidance in 2008/2009.

This change in carbon pricing was expected to increase the likelihood that the UK government would meet its statutory obligation per the Climate Change Act of reducing overall emissions by at least 26% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.

Carbon pricing worldwide

The research has also had an impact on legislation to introduce new carbon pricing policies in Australia, China, Mexico and South Korea, all of which have adopted new measures or are in the process of doing so.

The United Nations has referred to the Grantham research as contributing to the prospects for an international agreement on climate change.

The research was also used as the basis of discussions between UK and EU legislators and China’s chief negotiator, Minister Xie Zhenhua, in the House of Commons in October 2011 when the two sides examined examples of “good practice”.

The researchers have worked closely with GLOBE International, a global forum of parliamentarians. Their research fed directly into an international policy paper that aimed to help national legislators understand the nuts and bolts of carbon markets as they draft their own country-specific legislation.

The LSE team also provided direct advice on a particular technical point of the Australian trading scheme related to the treatment of carbon offsets (credits that can be earned by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in one location that can offset pollution elsewhere).

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Author(s) Simon Dietz

Growth and adaptation to climate change in the long run

Climate Change Essay

500+ words essay on climate change.

Climate change is a major global challenge today, and the world is becoming more vulnerable to this change. Climate change refers to the changes in Earth’s climate condition. It describes the changes in the atmosphere which have taken place over a period ranging from decades to millions of years. A recent report from the United Nations predicted that the average global temperature could increase by 6˚ Celsius at the end of the century. Climate change has an adverse effect on the environment and ecosystem. With the help of this essay, students will get to know the causes and effects of climate change and possible solutions. Also, they will be able to write essays on similar topics and can boost their writing skills.

What Causes Climate Change?

The Earth’s climate has always changed and evolved. Some of these changes have been due to natural causes such as volcanic eruptions, floods, forest fires etc., but quite a few of them are due to human activities. Human activities such as deforestation, burning fossil fuels, farming livestock etc., generate an enormous amount of greenhouse gases. This results in the greenhouse effect and global warming which are the major causes of climate change.

Effects of Climate Change

If the current situation of climate change continues in a similar manner, then it will impact all forms of life on the earth. The earth’s temperature will rise, the monsoon patterns will change, sea levels will rise, and storms, volcanic eruptions and natural disasters will occur frequently. The biological and ecological balance of the earth will get disturbed. The environment will get polluted and humans will not be able to get fresh air to breathe and fresh water to drink. Life on earth will come to an end.

Steps to be Taken to Reduce Climate Change

The Government of India has taken many measures to improve the dire situation of Climate Change. The Ministry of Environment and Forests is the nodal agency for climate change issues in India. It has initiated several climate-friendly measures, particularly in the area of renewable energy. India took several steps and policy initiatives to create awareness about climate change and help capacity building for adaptation measures. It has initiated a “Green India” programme under which various trees are planted to make the forest land more green and fertile.

We need to follow the path of sustainable development to effectively address the concerns of climate change. We need to minimise the use of fossil fuels, which is the major cause of global warming. We must adopt alternative sources of energy, such as hydropower, solar and wind energy to make a progressive transition to clean energy. Mahatma Gandhi said that “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not any man’s greed”. With this view, we must remodel our outlook and achieve the goal of sustainable development. By adopting clean technologies, equitable distribution of resources and addressing the issues of equity and justice, we can make our developmental process more harmonious with nature.

We hope students liked this essay on Climate Change and gathered useful information on this topic so that they can write essays in their own words. To get more study material related to the CBSE, ICSE, State Board and Competitive exams, keep visiting the BYJU’S website.

Frequently Asked Questions on climate change Essay

What are the reasons for climate change.

1. Deforestation 2. Excessive usage of fossil fuels 3. Water, Soil pollution 4. Plastic and other non-biodegradable waste 5. Wildlife and nature extinction

How can we save this climate change situation?

1. Avoid over usage of natural resources 2. Do not use or buy items made from animals 3. Avoid plastic usage and pollution

Are there any natural causes for climate change?

Yes, some of the natural causes for climate change are: 1. Solar variations 2. Volcanic eruption and tsunamis 3. Earth’s orbital changes

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The world is not moving fast enough on climate change — social sciences can help explain why

solution to climate change essay

Assistant Professor of urban planning, University of Minnesota

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Associate professor, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, and Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies, University of British Columbia

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Disclosure statement

The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

University of British Columbia provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation CA.

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In late 2023 the United States government released its Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA). The NCA is a semi-regular summation of the impacts of climate change upon the U.S. and the fifth assessment was notable for being the first to include a chapter on social systems and justice .

Built on decades of social science research on climate change, the fifth NCA contends with two truths that are increasingly being reckoned with in U.S. popular and academic conversations .

The first is that climate change has the potential to exacerbate health, social and economic outcomes for Black, Indigenous, people of colour (BIPOC) and low-income communities. The second is that social systems and institutions — including governmental, cultural, spiritual and economic structures — are the only places where adaptation and mitigation can occur.

Read more: It is not just heat waves — climate change is also a crisis of disconnection

We only have to compare mortality rates for the COVID-19 pandemic disaggregated by race, income, and other axes of inequality to recognize that we are not all in the same boat, despite experiencing the same storm. Today, race and income similarly predict who is likely to be displaced permanently after a major hurricane — and forced relocation can have negative impacts on individuals and communities for generations.

Understanding how existing social systems influence, and are influenced by, climate change is key to not only slowing the effects of an increasingly warming Earth, but also ensuring that society’s transition to a new world is a just one .

And there is no doubt that we are indeed facing a new world.

Not moving fast enough

Decades of scientific research have shown that increasingly devastating and rapid climatic changes are ahead of us, including more intense hurricanes, droughts and floods.

Our recent levels of resource consumption — particularly in the Global North and countries with large developing economies — are untenable . To be clear, the world is responding to these risks with the U.S. alone achieving a 13 percent decrease in annual greenhouse gas emissions between 2005 and 2019 , but these responses are not good enough.

It is the purview of social scientists — the scientists tasked with studying human society and social relationships in all of their complexity — to ask why.

Steam billows from a coal-fired power plant.

What is it about the ethics, cultures, economies, and symbols at play in the world that have made it so difficult to turn the tide and make change? Why do we — individuals, societies, cultures, and nations — mostly seem unable to curb emissions at the rates necessary to save ourselves and our planet?

These are questions that can only partially be answered by new information and technologies developed by physical scientists and engineers. We also need an understanding of how humans behave. Having new technology matters for little if you do not also understand how social, economic and political decisions are made — and how certain groups are able to develop habits around lower rates of emissions and consumption .

Read more: Telling stories of our climate futures is essential to thinking through the net-zero choices of today

We know that inequitable systems create unevenly distributed risk and capacities to respond. For example, a hurricane’s intensity scale is less predictive of its mortality rates than the socio-economic conditions within the nation where the storm makes landfall . Understanding these dynamics is the only way to respond to climate change in a way that does not entrench deep tendencies towards racist, sexist and classist landscapes of vulnerability.

Empowering real change

Recognizing that disasters and climate disruptions have the potential to make inequality worse also means that we have the opportunity to do better.

There are a range of outcomes that may stem from climate related disasters with a vast inventory of what is possible. There are also hopeful examples that point the way to rich collaborations and problem solving. For example, Tulsa, Okla. was the most frequently flooded city in the U.S. from the 1960s into the 1980s, but a coalition of concerned citizens came together with the city government to create a floodplain management plan that serves as a model for other cities.

In another example, Indigenous communities around the U.S. have some of the most proactive planning in place for adapting to climate change, despite histories of persecution, theft and violent exploitation.

There is an adage that says in order to go quickly, go alone; if you want to go far, go together. Make no mistake, climate change is the most urgent issue of our time. However, moving quickly and carelessly will serve only to re-entrench existing social, economic, political and environmental inequalities.

Instead, we must look at other ways of being in the world. We can repair and recreate our relationships with the Earth and the consumption that has gotten us to this point. We can pay attention and listen to global Indigenous peoples and others who have cared for this earth for millennia .

Read more: COP28: Climate change theatre and performances reveal new narratives about how we need to live

We must be more creative with our solutions and committed to ensuring that all, and not just a privileged few, are able to live in a better world than the one in which they were born into. Technological approaches alone will not achieve this goal. To build a better world we need the social sciences.

  • Fossil fuels
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  • Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)

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Visiting Professor - 2024-25 Australia-Korea Chair in Australian Studies at Seoul National University

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Nature-based solutions play key role in mitigating climate change, suggest researchers

A new study shows that nature-based solutions are crucial to mitigate climate change, but only if they go hand in hand with a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

What are nature-based solutions, and can they help us achieve the Paris Agreement maintaining the average global temperature rise below 2° Celsius?

Guenet and team from the ENS Geology Laboratory, École Normale Supérieure of Paris, explain the role these techniques play in climate change mitigation in their recently published paper "Les solutions fondées sur la nature" (nature-based solutions).

The main idea behind nature-based solutions is that environmental problems can be solved through a deep understanding of how ecosystems work. In this way, humans can tap into the many and varied benefits—and services—that the natural environment may provide.

In their paper, they mainly focus on the mitigation services to contrast climate change. This particular group of nature-based solutions is often called nature-based climate solutions.

The objectives of this sub-category are:

  • to prevent carbon emissions, mainly by avoiding deforestation
  • to restore degraded ecosystems promoting carbon sinks (for example reducing timber harvesting)
  • to implement the best management practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from forests, croplands, and grasslands.

According to the researchers, nature-based solutions must be designed for longevity, accounting for long-term carbon sinks of terrestrial ecosystems.

More information: Read the full paper.

Provided by iCube Programme

Nature-based solutions play key role in mitigating climate change, suggest researchers


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    Climate Explained, a part of Yale Climate Connections, is an essay collection that addresses an array of climate change questions and topics, including why it's cold outside if global warming is real, how we know that humans are responsible for global warming, and the relationship between climate change and national security.

  12. Climate Changes, So Should We...

    In 2015, the Paris Agreement, which is legally binding on climate change, has been accepted by approximately 191 countries to limit global warming to below 2, if possible, to 1.5. The countries have committed to achieve this primary goal and minimise global warming. To accomplish this goal requires all parties to put forward their best efforts ...

  13. Renewable energy

    Energy is at the heart of the climate challenge - and key to the solution. ... The science is clear: to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, emissions need to be reduced by almost half by ...

  14. Climate Change: Causes, Effects, and Solutions

    change happens widely because we are burning fossil fuels and that increases gases such as. CO2, methane, and some other gases in the atmosphere" (phone interview). According to the. Australian Greenhouse Office, the world depends on fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural. gas for 80% of its energy needs.

  15. Mitigation and Adaptation

    NASA, with its Eyes on the Earth and wealth of knowledge on Earth's climate, is one of the world's experts in climate science.NASA's role is to provide the robust scientific data needed to understand climate change. For example, data from the agency's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), its follow-on mission (), the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), and the ...

  16. Climate change is here. But so are climate solutions : NPR

    Wind turbines are seen in Big Spring, Texas. Humans are driving global warming; that means humans can find solutions to change our trajectory. Climate change is here. And this week, NPR is doing ...

  17. Natural Solutions to Climate Change

    In response to climate change, land is key. Today, agriculture, forestry, and other land uses account for roughly a quarter of global greenhouse-gas emissions. But adopting sustainable land management strategies could provide more than one-third of the near-term emission reductions needed to keep warming well below the target—2°C above pre-industrial levels—set by the Paris climate agreement.

  18. Climate Change Assay: A Spark Of Change

    Bahçeşehir College is committed to increasing students' awareness of the changing world we live in. This climate change essay competition saw many students submitting well thought out pieces of writing. These essays were marked on their format, creativity, organisation, clarity, unity/development of thought, and grammar/mechanics.

  19. Climate solutions: When climate action means better roads

    To those of us in the developed world, climate action means switching to electric vehicles, taking a bike or public transport. By contrast, in the developing world, climate action also requires better roads. That's not because we want people in the developing world to drive more fossil-fuel cars. It's to protect them against the disastrous ...

  20. Climate Change Essay

    200 Words Essay on Climate Change. The climate of the Earth has changed significantly over time. While some of these changes were brought on by natural events like volcanic eruptions, floods, forest fires, etc., many of the changes were brought on by human activity. The burning of fossil fuels, domesticating livestock, and other human ...

  21. An economic solution to climate change that could save trillions

    The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change (2006) estimated the total cost of climate change to be equivalent to a one-off, permanent 5-20% loss in global average (mean) per-person spending in today's money. The cost of each extra ton of carbon emitted today was estimated to be around $312. Researchers at LSE's Grantham Research ...

  22. Climate Change Essay for Students in English

    500+ Words Essay on Climate Change. Climate change is a major global challenge today, and the world is becoming more vulnerable to this change. Climate change refers to the changes in Earth's climate condition. It describes the changes in the atmosphere which have taken place over a period ranging from decades to millions of years.

  23. The world is not moving fast enough on climate change

    Climate change is often seen as solely a technical problem. This is a misguided belief. Understanding how to build a better world begins, and ends, with understanding the societies which inhabit it.

  24. Climate Change Causes Effects and Solutions Essay

    Climate change is one of the most sensitive and talked about issues worldwide. It is a global issue that urges many governments and society as a whole to take action before it is too late to do so. Us humans are battling a war that we caused ourselves, with our selfishness and greed. In the past century, the average monthly temperature in Malta ...

  25. Impact Of Climate Change And Possible Solutions ...

    Mistimed events occurring in a very high frequency are immensely dangerous. Climate is the regular behavior of temperature, precipitation, humidity, atmospheric pressure and other related environmental factors. Climate change is a stark reality. A study in [1] states that ice loss in arctic region between 1979 and 2003 is larger than the area ...

  26. Nature-based solutions play key role in mitigating climate change ...

    A new study shows that nature-based solutions are crucial to mitigate climate change, but only if they go hand in hand with a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.. What are nature-based ...

  27. Climate change and displacement

    That by 2030, increasing numbers of forcibly displaced and stateless people fleeing from climate-fueled crises and/or living in climate-vulnerable countries find solutions, are protected and resilient to the impacts of climate change, and have the means to live self-sufficient lives. We cannot achieve this vision alone.

  28. Exploring adaptive strategies to cope with climate change: The case

    Historic buildings, often exempt from retrofits to preserve originality, require retrofitting due to potential future climate-related indoor issues. For Modern Architecture constructions, there is a need to find solutions that help address the discomfort and heat losses caused by the extensive use of glazing. By analysing Le Corbusier's studio-apartment this paper aims to inspect: (i ...

  29. Powering the clean energy innovation system

    This paper focuses on the innovation angle in green industrial policy design. The innovation system, delivering new and improved technology solutions for the clean energy transition, can be the cornerstone of a successful transition that reconciles decarbonization, competitive value creation and jobs, and strategic autonomy on a global scale. This, however, requires the innovation system to be ...