UK Year of Climate Change

by / Monday, 15 November 2021

Did you know that 2021 is the UK Year of Climate Change?

From 31st October – 12th November, more than 200 world leaders have been in Glasgow, to attend the international conference, COP26.  This means ‘Conference of Parties’, and it is the 26th meeting of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. These members have been discussing issues related to climate change, and their slogan is, ‘Uniting the world to tackle climate change’.

Issues such as reducing greenhouse gases and protecting the planet have been on the agenda and discussions were about how countries are planning to address these issues in the future. The results of these talks will be very important.

Do you know anything that your country does to protect the planet? Amongst other things, the UK has promised to reduce its carbon emissions to ‘net zero’ and to change to electric cars.

What do people in your country do to help the planet? Are people interested in taking an active part?

What kinds of things do you do?

Here are some really good, practical ideas. Have a look and see how many of these things you and your family do already, and how many you could try!

Did you know that transport is one of the sectors in the UK which causes the most pollution?  People use their cars for even short trips. Do you use a car? If you do, could you think of using a different means of transport? What about cycling or walking?

You can also reduce your carbon footprint by taking a train or a bus instead of a plane if there is that option for the journey.

Are you aware that the choices you make about what to eat can have a big impact on the environment? If you eat and drink meat and dairy products, such as cheese and milk, this is contributing to the loss of forests, because the land is needed for farming. The production of meat leads to the production of more carbon dioxide than the growing of plants, such as vegetables.

Is it common in your country for people to be vegetarians and vegans? It is becoming very popular in the UK now, and there are many more of these foods available in restaurants and supermarkets.

Another way to help the planet is to reduce your waste. Do you recycle? Is it easy to take part in recycling in your country? Here in the UK, millions of tonnes of waste are produced from the packaging that we throw in the rubbish bin. If we recycle the plastic and the metal, it can be used again. Some of the things that we recycle most are paper and newspapers. It is amazing to know that in the UK, nearly 70% of the paper we use is recycled. Drinks cans, made from aluminium, are also commonly recycled. Five billion drinks cans are now recycled every year!

Do you use reusable water bottles, or do you buy a new bottle of water in a plastic bottle every time? If you have a reusable bottle, you can fill it up time after time. Glass bottles can also be recycled. In the UK, we recycle about half of our glass bottles.

As well as recycling, there are many other ways of reducing waste. What about saving resources such as water and electricity? Do you turn off the tap when you are brushing your teeth, to save water?

Many people waste electricity every day, by doing things like leaving lights turned on in an empty room and forgetting to turn off their computer, PlayStation and other devices when they are not using them.

This is a very important year for climate change. The world is warming even faster than the scientists previously thought. It is likely that the results of COP26 will determine what kind of international climate action will be taken in the coming years.