climate change

climate change


the big picture

With business producing almost half of the UK’s carbon

emissions, it is time for boards to put climate change mitigation

at the top of their agendas, says Professor Michael Grubb,

Associated Director of Policy at the Carbon Trust

There is a growing consensus among scientific and political commentators that

climate change is the biggest environmental threat modern society faces. This

is why the UK government, as leader of the G8 Summit in Gleneagles, put the

issue at the top of the international agenda this year. Government, business and

our wider society will all be affected by climate change and all have a role to play

in tackling it.

why climate change

mitigation matters

Emissions of various gases from industrial

and other human activities – mainly the use of

fossil fuels for energy and long-term

deforestation – are changing the world’s

atmosphere. These gases are commonly

known as greenhouse gases (GHGs).


climate change and associated

responses are already having a

significant financial effect on many

of today’s companies

climate change was formally

recognised as a global issue in

1988 through the establishment

of the IPCC

The Kyoto Protocol came into

force in Feb 2005 and legally

binds countries to reduce their

‘Global warming’ or ‘climate change’ is GHG emissions against targets

caused by higher than natural levels of The UK’s target is to reduce its

GHGs being released into the atmosphere. carbon emissions by 12.5 per cent

below 1990 levels over 2008-12

These gases have a ‘greenhouse warming’

impact, trapping heat within the earth’s

atmosphere. Their growing concentration causes a gradual rise in temperature,

and impacts on precipitation (rain and snow) patterns, and the frequency of


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