Global warming (or climate change) is caused by a build-up of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.
A warmer world leads to a more extreme climate — with more severe droughts, floods and storms. And as the world warms up, feedback-loops can accelerate warming: melting polar ice means less of the sun’s heat is reflected back into space.
Greenhouse gases build up in the atmosphere mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels — coal, oil and gas — and by cutting down forests. Greenhouse-gas levels have rocketed in the last 100 years.
The UK needs to double its tree cover. Only 13% of the UK’s total land area has tree cover (compared to an EU average of 35%).
Trees are nature’s tool for capturing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and increasing tree cover is one of the effective ways for the UK to achieve net-zero emissions.
Every year we throw away millions of tonnes of plastic. And vast amounts of it finds its way into the oceans. As this plastic breaks up into tiny pieces it’s consumed by marine animals. In this way, plastic is choking our oceans, and killing marine life.
All this plastic waste means that a cocktail of harmful chemicals enters the food chain and passes up into our food and water supplies.
Traffic volumes in London before the Covid pandemic were already causing air pollution that killed over 9000 Londoners a year, and producing CO2 emissions that contribute to the looming climate catastrophe.
With the reduced capacity of public transport due to Covid we need a safe alternative that doesn’t involve burning oil to move thousands of metal boxes (cars) around containing typically just a single passenger.
Ealing Friends of the Earth therefore backs plans by Ealing Council and the London Mayor to make it safer to walk or cycle.