Background on climate change
Climate change is caused principally by the rising concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Greenhouse gases absorb heat, leading to an increase in average temperature and adding to the ‘greenhouse effect’.
The scientific consensus is that human activity is primarily responsible for the rising level of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Our electricity, heating and transport requirements are all largely met through the combustion of fossil fuels releasing the main greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO2).
The scientific consensus
The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) produces the definitive analysis of climate change science and the potential impact on our environment. The 4th report of the IPCC was published in 2007.
The impact of greenhouse gases on the climate is potentially catastrophic. Models predict that global temperatures could rise by an average of 1.1 to 6.4 degrees centigrade by 2100 leading to large sea level rises, increased flooding and declining agricultural yields.
The economic impact
The economic impact of climate change is uncertain. However, the established view, as set out in the Stern Review, is that the costs of not addressing climate change and dealing with the physical impacts are far greater than the costs of taking action to cut emissions today.
This is why it is important for all organisations to take action now – and why so much new regulation is planned to achieve significant emissions reductions across the globe.
The business opportunity
Whilst undeniably serious, the effects of climate change also create a significant business opportunity. With supply chains likely to be disrupted, regulation threatening established markets and consumer demand shifting to green alternatives, organisations with a clear low carbon strategy can profit from the changing market.
Achieving the Carbon Trust Standard is the first step to demonstrating your carbon credentials and seizing this opportunity.
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