What is the climate and ecological emergency?

Climate change refers to a shift in average weather conditions (such as temperature, humidity, rainfall and wind patterns) and importantly the changes in the frequency and severity of these conditions. 

In 2018 the UN reported that we have just 12 years to act on climate change

More recently in 2022 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its latest report on the climate emergency, declaring that it's 'now or never' to tackle the climate crisis. 

The earth’s climate has changed throughout its extremely long history and these changes usually happen in cycles that occur over very long periods of time. However, over the last 50 years we have seen very rapid changes to the earth’s climate with changes in extreme heat, increased rainfall, changes in the availability of food and freshwater and rising sea levels. 

Useful resources 

Below we’ve listed some additional resources to help you find out more about the climate and ecological emergency, including some of the challenges facing our planet and ways you can reduce your carbon footprint:  

  • In the BBC documentary Climate Change – The Facts Sir David Attenborough looks at the science of climate change and potential solutions to this global threat.
  • Find out what your carbon footprint is and take steps to reduce your environmental impact with the WWF Footprint calculator
  • Watch the Netflix documentary Our Planet to learn more about the Earth's natural beauty and how climate change impacts all living creatures.
  • Listen to the Green Thinking podcast to understand the issues linking climate challenges and society, in conversation with some of the UK's leading researchers. 
  • Climate Assembly UK have shared a range of further resources related to the UK's path to net zero carbon emissions.