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UK 'must lead fight against global warming'

UK 'must lead fight against global warming'

UK 'must lead fight against global warming'

The UK would be "deeply irresponsible" not to lead the fight against global warming, according to the energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey.

Mr Davey's comments appear to be in contrast to those made by chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne, who revealed in his autumn statement that he would prefer the UK not to be the only country out there on the issue "in front of the rest of the world."

However, speaking to the Observer, the Liberal Democrat member noted: "If you don't lead, you will not bring others with you.

"People don't realise that we got a deal across the coalition that puts Britain right at the head, the most ambitious country," he added.

The coalition government has traditionally clashed over green issues. The most recent blow to the UK's environmentally-friendly efforts came in the form of the scrapping of eco levies that have effectively left 400,000 properties across the country without insulation that would allow them to reduce carbon emissions.

Ministers have been set the target of halving the amount of greenhouse gases produced by 2030, as part of a worldwide mission to ease the pressure being put on the environment.

Mr Davey also used the recent flooding as an example of why it is important for the government and the country as a whole to prepare for the effects that global warming can bring. He criticised environment secretary Owen Paterson, whose department has already cut 40 per cent to funding adaptations for climate change and spending on annual flood defences.

Warning signs

The politicians comments have coincided with the release of a new United Nations (UN) report yesterday (March 31st), which revealed climate change was threatening the financial prospects, food and water sources, and health of billions of the world's population.

Around 2,000 scientists were involved in compiling the study, coming to the conclusion that just a small amount of further damage to the environment could result in "abrupt and irreversible changes."

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) revealed it believed the most poor and vulnerable people were more susceptible to the changes than any other demographic.

Flooding and extreme heatwaves were two of the knock-on effects linked with global warming, while long-term consequences included the death of agriculture in certain parts of the world and the rising acidity of the sea killing off coral reefs.

What can I do?

While it may seem as though one person or business' efforts to reduce their own impact on the living world may not make much of a difference, it's a collaborative approach that's needed to tackle climate change.

At Aurora, for example, we have strong eco-friendly ethics that are applied across the way we carry out our work. As well as waste reduction initiatives, we are also involved in tree planting programmes and use cleaning products, solutions and techniques that complement the environment.

From recycling your rubbish to cycling to work instead of taking the car, there are plenty of ways to do your bit - it's all about using your imagination and spending a bit of time thinking about what you can do differently to stop global warming from going one step further.

Posted by Julie Tucker

Image by Thinkstock