World temperatures are rising because of human activity, and climate change now threatens every aspect of human life.
Left unchecked, humans and nature will experience catastrophic warming, with worsening droughts, greater sea level rise and mass extinction of species.
We face a huge challenge, but there are potential solutions. MCC want to be part of the solution and have signed a climate emergency declaration and are developing our plans.
What is climate change?
Climate is the average weather in a place over many years. Climate change is a shift in those average conditions.
The rapid climate change we are now seeing is caused by humans using oil, gas and coal for their homes, factories, and transport.
When these fossil fuels burn, they release greenhouse gases - mostly carbon dioxide (CO2). These gases trap the Sun's heat and cause the planet's temperature to rise.
The world is now about 1.2oC warmer than it was in the 19th Century – and the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen by 50%.
Temperature rises must slow down if we want to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, scientists say. They say global warming needs to be kept to 1.5oC by 2100.
However, unless further action is taken, the planet could still warm by more than 2oC by the end of this century. A report in 2021 by the Climate Action Tracker group calculated that the world was heading for 2.4oC of warming by the end of the centrury.
If nothing is done, scientists think global warming could exceed 4oC in the future, leading to devastating heatwaves, millions losing their homes to rising sea levels and irreversible loss of plant and animal species.