Climate Change – Frequently Asked Questions
What is climate change?
Climate change describes the long-term changes in weather patterns across the world. Scientific evidence has shown that the Earth’s temperature has risen rapidly in the last 100 years, and is correlated with an increased concentration of greenhouse gases. These gases trap the sun’s energy, resulting in global warming.
The most common greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide, which is why carbon is often used in terms associated with their emissions such as ‘carbon footprint’.
Greenhouse gases can occur naturally such as during volcanic eruptions, however human activities have accelerated the rate of emissions. Activities including the combustion of fossil fuels, deforestation, agriculture and disposal of waste in landfill have all led to an increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
In order to slow down climate change, and to avoid irreversible damage, we need to decrease the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere significantly.
How will climate change affect me?
There are several impacts of climate change including an increase in the occurrences of extreme weather events such as flooding, drought and storms. Other impacts include risk to water supplies, loss of biodiversity, damage to infrastructure and food insecurity.
On a local level, we are likely to see an increase in flooding from extreme rainfall, as well as experiencing weather events such as storms which can damage infrastructure. Extreme heat in summer is also expected, and water shortages as a result of droughts.
These physical changes will have social, health and economic impacts, impacting our day to day lives. This is why it is so crucial for us to work together to reduce the impacts of climate change.
What are the other impacts we have on the environment?
Human activity can also reduce air quality. Combustion of fossil fuels, including the use of cars, can increase the concentration of pollutants in the air. These pollutants not only harm the environment, but also have a negative impact on human health, in particular young people.
How can I help?
Every person, household, business or organisation can make a difference. All aspects of our lives have an impact on the environment.
Actions with the greatest impact include using our cars less, flying less, switching to renewable energy, improving building energy efficiency and eating a plant-based diet.
What are the benefits of taking action on environmental issues?
Taking simple actions to help the environment gives multiple opportunities to improve our lifestyles and realise benefits for ourselves, our families or our businesses.
Reducing travel in petrol and diesel vehicles and replacing journeys with active travel, public transport or electric vehicles can greatly improve the District’s air quality, whilst also improving the physical health of our population.
Actions which can help the environment can also save money, bring together communities and boost our physical and mental health. For example, reducing home energy consumption and improving efficiency through insulation not only reduces your carbon footprint but it also helps to save money on energy bills and makes your home more comfortable especially in the winter.
What is the Sustainability Strategy and who does it relate to?
The strategy shows what the council is doing to reduce its environmental impacts including reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from its own buildings and in delivering council services. It also sets out ways the Council can facilitate and encourage individuals and organisations in the Borough to reduce their own environmental impact.
The plan is relevant to anyone who lives and/or works in the District, regardless of age or background. This is because we need everybody’s help to reach our climate goal of carbon neutral by 2040.
Why has the Sustainability Strategy been created?
Rochford District Council understands the need for action on a range of environmental issues including climate change. The Sustainability Strategy is to help the council tackle these issues by identifying key actions, and commit to our target of becoming carbon neutral by 2040.
When is the Community event?
A hybrid (online and in-person) community Q&A will take place on ***. For a link to the meeting, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The event will also take place in person at Town Hall, Ingrave Road, CM15 8AY.
How else can I take part?
The consultation will be open from June and last a minimum of 6 weeks.
- Complete a questionnaire on our website
- Email comments to email@example.com
- Post comments to Climate and Sustainability Officer, Town Hall, Ingrave Road, Brentwood, CM15 8AY
I want to take part in the survey but am unable to access this online. How can I still take part?
People can request a paper copy of the questionnaire by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting Town Hall.
Alternatively, you can call the contact centre on 01277 312500 where one of our team will fill out the survey on your behalf.
What happens next?
Once the consultation period has ended, we will analyse results from all the questionnaires and read any other comments received. This information will be used to inform us of any updates that are needed to the Sustainability Strategy.
The updated Sustainability Strategy will then be subjected to approval from the Council before adoption.