The Arctic is also a clear barometer of climate change. If we continue our path to 2 degrees warming we could see an ice-free Arctic every decade. Yet if we lower warming to just 1.5 degrees we can make this just a once in a century occurrence.
Environmental issues are only one consequence of climate change. There are serious implications for our health, socio-economic development, food security, infrastructure and productivity, transportation and energy sectors.
In November 2018, The Lancet published a report warning that climate change impacts – from heatwaves to worsening storms, floods and fires – threatened to overwhelm health systems. That same month, Thomson Reuters Foundation warned that air pollution from burning fossil fuels is cutting global life expectancy by an average of 1.8 years per person, making it the world’s top killer.
In January 2019 The World Economic Forum released their annual Global Risks Report, and for the third year in a row, environmental threats dominate the list both in terms of impact and likelihood.
Biodiversity loss is a big concern and The Living Planet Index, which tracks more than 4,000 species across the globe, reports a 60% decline in average abundance since 1970. It also has potentially dire implications for health and socio-economic development thanks to the impact on the human food chain. The report suggests that increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are affecting the nutritional composition of staple crops such as rice and wheat. Research suggests that by 2050 this could lead to zinc deficiencies for 175 million people, protein deficiencies for 122 million, and loss of dietary iron for 1 billion.
Meanwhile, the increase in severe weather events caused by climate change are associated with disruption or complete loss of essential services such as water and energy supplies. Changes in temperature and rainfall place additional pressures on transport and communication infrastructure, in particular the rail, road, water and energy sectors. Climate change also poses risks to industry as empirical evidence shows flooding and extreme weather events damaging assets and disrupting business operations is the greatest risk now and in the future.
At Low Carbon we have a fundamental belief that the acceleration of climate change is the greatest challenge facing humanity. We are clear: climate change must be arrested before the damage becomes irreversible.
Driving investment in renewables at scale and encouraging the production of clean, carbon-neutral energy is key to our goal of confronting climate change. Equally crucial is the forging of new partnerships enabling us to increase the scale of investment.
Large scale investment in renewable energy
To pursue our goal of a truly global low-carbon future, where carbon emissions are substantially reduced, the climate crisis is tackled and social awareness is transformed, we invest in the development of renewable energy infrastructure.
We leverage all current and proven technologies, backing energy projects and their development teams, whilst managing operational renewable energy assets. Our investment model embraces several technologies including: solar PV, onshore wind, energy storage, waste to energy and energy efficiency.
Enabling investment capital of more than £600 million, we are committed to building capacity efficiently and cost-effectively.
There are many useful resources for learning more about climate change and for monitoring the latest climate change indicators and data.