Why is climate change happening and is it not too late to fix? - The Years Project

Ask Joe

Joseph Romm, Ph.D. Chief Science Advisor

Why is climate change happening and is it not too late to fix?

Climate change is probably the biggest challenge the world is facing, but it’s not too late to fix it.

First of all, it is important to clarify that climate change is happening because of human interference. This fact that has been confirmed by the Nobel Peace Price-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

If you don’t believe us, take a look at this and see if we can convince you. Each year we release almost 30 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, mainly as a result of burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas. The main sectors responsible for fossil fuel consumption and climate polluting CO2 emissions are:

  • energy generation
  • transport
  • industry
  • households

This means that we need political action to make changes happen. One of the most important steps is a global agreement once the current Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

We need to ask our leaders to agree on a more ambitious post-Kyoto regime, with CO2 emission reduction targets in the order of 80% by the middle of the century.

But this does not only rely on politics and leaders, there’s also a lot we can do to fight climate change on our daily lives.