3 Ways Climate Change Is Destroying the Planet Earth

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Every species, every habitat and every region of the planet Earth is affected by climate change. Polar regions, oceans and forests are simply being destroyed. Raising awareness about what is truly happening is a vital part of the fight against climate change.

Polar regions

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The regions of the Arctic and Antarctica are critical when it comes to regulating the Earth’s climate. At the same time, they are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change. It brings worldwide consequences.

Recent reports predict that, in the next decades, there will be no ice in the Arctic during the summer. The impact will devastate habitats and species, and probably several regions in the northern hemisphere.

In the Antarctic Peninsula, some areas are among the fastest-warming locations on the entire planet.

Oceans

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Oceans are natural absorbents of enormous amounts of carbon dioxide. This prevents it from reaching the upper part of the atmosphere.

However, the average water temperature is increasing drastically and the concentrations of carbon dioxide are much higher than normal. Because of this, the oceans are now more acidic.

Once the oceans warm up by 1.5ºC, coral reefs will decline by up to 90%. At a warming of 2ºC, the oceans will lose almost all of their coral reefs. Countless species will suffer from this tragedy and over half a billion people will be stripped of their main source of protein.

Forests

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Trees are vital to soak up carbon dioxide. Needless to say, forests are the home of an astounding array of animal and plant species.

Boreal forests in the sub-Arctic regions are the ones most affected. As temperatures rise, their tree lines gradually move up north. When it comes to tropical forests, where the abundance of biodiversity is higher and more significant, climate change can lead to more and more extinctions.

Nowadays, incredibly large parcels of forest are devastated, which is tragic for local species and communities that depend on them. Trees are supposed to absorb carbon dioxide. But dying trees emit their storages into the atmosphere.

This is the first generation to be fully aware that it’s destroying the world. We are on the course to being the last one to know about it.

2 of the European Union’s Main Actions to Fight Climate Change

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These are two of the most fundamental projects of the European Union to combat the nefarious effects of climate change.

EU Emissions Trading System

The EU Emissions Trading System, commonly referred to by the acronym EU ETS, is a key action of the European Union’s fight against climate change.

It’s also the Union’s main tool to cost-effectively help reduce the gas emissions that contribute to the greenhouse effect. The EU ETS is the fist and biggest major carbon market in the world.

It operates in all 28 countries in the European Union, plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. The system limits gas emissions from over 11,000 installations that are heavy in energy use, including industrial plants, power stations and airlines.

How does it work? The EU ETS works through a system based on a cap and trade principle. The cap represents the total amount of particular greenhouse effect gases that are allowed to be emitted by a certain installation.

The goal is for the cap to be gradually reduced with time in order for the grand total of emissions in the European Union to fall significantly.

A company can receive or buy emission allowances. They can be traded among businesses, but there is a limit on the availability of allowances. After each year, the company has to surrender enough allowances to cover the entirety of its emissions. Otherwise, the European Union imposes substantial penalties.

In the case of a company reducing its emissions, it’s permitted to keep the extra allowances for future coverage. It can also sell them to a business that is in need of allowances.

Innovation Fund

As one of the largest funding programs in the world, the European Union’s Innovation Fund emphasizes on driving clean and innovative low-carbon technologies towards the market.

The fund focuses on industries that are heavy in energy consumption, helping them implement low-carbon processes and have access to clean, cutting-edge technological resources.

The Innovation Fund also supports the generation of renewable energy, as well as the capture, storage and use of carbon. The funds come from the auctioning of 450 million allowances from the EU Emissions Trading System between 2020 and 2030.

The main objectives of the Innovation Fund are creating the right financial incentives for the development of low-carbon solutions, enhancing growth and competitiveness, and supporting all member states.

All in all, the ultimate goal of the Union with all of its environmental actions is a climate neutral Europe by 2050.