Climate change

Climate change

Our climate is changing fast. The Earth is warming at an alarming rate, triggering more unusual weather patterns, causing more natural disasters such as coastal inundation, flooding and drought.

Impacts of climate change extend far beyond our coastline and is the single biggest threat to the natural environment.

Since the 1970s, average global temperatures over land have increased by around 0.7°C. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects a further rise of between about 1°C and 6°C by the end of the century. While it is vital to reduce future greenhouse gas emissions, affects from past emissions mean that some climate change is inevitable.

We are members of The Climate Coalition, the UK’s largest group of people dedicated to action on climate change and limiting its impact on the world. The combined supporter base is more than 15 million people across the UK and provides to opportunity to work together to pressure governments, industry and individuals to tackle and reduce the impacts of climate change.

We see strength in numbers, and regularly support action on climate change through Climate Coalition events, such as For The Love Of… and have joined thousands of others in marching in London to gain political support for actions against climate change.

The UK Climate Change Act 2008 made the UK the first country in the world to have a national, legally binding, long-term framework to cut carbon emissions. Continued efforts to mitigate climate change by cutting UK and other countries’ emissions will benefit the UK and reduce the greater risks faced by vulnerable developing countries.

Key findings from the Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) are detailed below. The CCRA has used existing evidence to produce an initial assessment of how a changing climate may affect the UK up to the year 2100:

  • The UK is already vulnerable to extreme weather, including flooding and heatwaves
  • Flood risk is projected to increase significantly across the UK
  • UK water resources are projected to come under increased pressure
  • Sensitive ecosystems are likely to come under increasing pressure
  • Potential climate risks in other parts of the world are thought to be much greater than those directly affecting the UK
  • Significant gaps in evidence still exist
  • Some species of animals and plants are likely to be lost to the UK as their ‘climate space’ moves
  • The arrival of invasive non-native species may pose a threat to native species
  • The freshwater environment is projected to come under growing pressure
  • Drier conditions are projected to lead to a decline in habitats which only develop in a cool, wet climate

While there are some recognised benefits associated with a changing climate, it is clear that the threats far outweigh them. We will endeavour to hold government accountable to ensure legislation is in place to help reduce these impacts.

We encourage all supporters and the wider public to be aware of and attempt to reduce their climate footprint, guaranteeing that we all do our best to protect the planet for everyone, now and in the future.

In 2007 we produced a report investigating the impacts of Climate Change from A Surfer’s Perspective. Even though 10 years has passed, many of the issues highlighted in the report are still true today and threaten the areas we love and strive to protect.