David Attenborough delivers speech at COP26
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COP26 – the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – is taking place in Glasgow over the coming two weeks, with delegates and world leaders putting heads together to bring climate change under control and manage human impacts on the planet. Countries are using the conference to set out plans to reduce carbon emissions, and some of these will be very technical and specific, with citizens expected to chip in and do their bit, too.
So how will it affect you?
There are a few ways that households in Britain could be affected by the outcomes of the conference.
One will be the expected requirement to make the change from petrol or diesel to electric vehicles by 2030.
Another will impact how our homes are heated, as households will be urged to insulate homes and switch to low-carbon heating as gas boilers are phased out.
The Government is already offering £5,000 to households in England and Wales to replace their gas boilers with heat pumps.
Your access to affordable flights might also change in the future.
Short-haul flights where affordable options such as trains are available could soon be cut.
However, environmentalists and scientists have said long-haul flights are the real carbon offenders, calling for higher taxes and duties on flings covering more than 4,000 miles.
How will we know if COP26 is a success?
A successful summit will see all attending nations back a strong statement that recommits to net zero emissions by 2050 – as well as big reductions by 2030.
Specific pledges will also be required, on things like ending coal use, petrol cars and protecting nature.
Developing countries will want a significant financial package over the next five years, to help them adapt to rising temperatures.
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What can you do to help climate change?
While world leaders are trying to put policies in place to solve man-made problems, everyone needs to act for this to work.
There are plenty of things you can do around your own home and in your daily life which can help.
Some things might feel like a challenge, but once you#ve made the change it will only get easier.
Here is a list of ideas:
Make the change to renewable energy. Take up the Government on the offer to switch gas boilers for heat pumps or look into the use of solar panels, which have dropped in price by 73 percent since 2010.
Change how you travel. Walk, cycle, or use public transport rather than driving. Take the train rather than flying. Switch to an electric car when you can.
Look at your diet. The meat and dairy sector are particularly heavy on the planet. You don’t have to go vegetarian or vegan to make a difference: cut down gradually and become a ‘flexitarian’. By reducing your consumption of animal protein by half, you can cut your diet’s carbon footprint by more than 40 percent.
Watch what you buy. Be wary of fast fashion, and try to buy local food that hasn’t had to be shipped in.
Spread the word. Social scientists have found that when one person makes a sustainability-oriented decision, other people do too. So feel free to brag about your changes on social media, it’s good for the planet!
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