What is climate change?
Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. Some shifts may be natural, but the majority are due to humans burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.
Burning fossil fuels generates greenhouse gas emissions that act like a blanket wrapped around the Earth, trapping the sun’s heat and raising temperatures.
The world is now warming faster than at any point in recorded history. Warmer temperatures over time are changing weather patterns and disrupting the usual balance of nature. This poses many risks to human beings and all other forms of life on Earth.
In Derby, without taking steps to stop climate change, we can expect to see impacts like:
- more frequent and extreme heat events
- more severe storms
- increased flooding, especially during winter
- increased drought during the summer
- more wildfires
- loss of species and habitats in our parks and green spaces.
These impacts will more frequently affect our daily lives in the city, bringing a range of associated health impacts, particularly affecting the most vulnerable.
The United Nations states that climate change is:
the single biggest health threat facing humanity.
You can find out more about the health impacts on climate change on the United Nations’ website.
Solving climate change solves a number of other global and local issues, such as pollution, lack of security, and poor health.
On 22 May 2019, the Council declared a climate emergency in Derby. Following this we:
- established a climate change programme board
- set a target for Derby City Council to reach net zero by 2035.
We continue to work with partners on carbon reduction projects.
Declaring a climate emergency means we are prepared to play our part alongside other cities around the world. We are committed to taking the action needed to prevent climate change from becoming much worse.