Climate change

Our climate is changing. It has always changed in response to natural environmental processes, but it is now widely accepted that human activities are leading to climate change of a scale and pace that threatens our way of life.

The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased dramatically since the Industrial Revolution increasing the temperature of the Earth by enhancing the greenhouse effect. As we continue burning fossil fuels and other activities, the amount of CO2 will continue to rise, further warming the climate.

If we take no action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, average global temperatures are likely to increase by between 2.6°C and 4.8°C by the end of the 21st Century (2081-2100) compared to 1986-2005 (Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

What might this mean for Cambridge? Our city is likely to experience higher average temperatures and intense and frequent extreme weather events like floods from heavy rain downpours, heatwaves and droughts. These will have a significant impact on our health, our economy and our way of life. 

We are determined to reduce the city’s carbon emissions to lessen the potential impacts that climate change may have on our residents, businesses and visitors.  Following the climate change agreement in Paris in December 2015, which agreed to limit global temperature increases to 1.5°C and the need to achieve zero net global carbon emissions by the second half of this century to achieve this commitment, the council has set an aspiration in its new Climate Change Strategy (2016-21) to achieve zero carbon status for Cambridge [PDF, 79KB] by 2050. Find out what the Council is doing to reduce its own and the city's carbon emissions. We are working on a number of different projects across the city, three of which are showcased in this film.

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