The Brtish Isles have experienced natural variations in climate throughout their history, with changes taking place over very long periods of time. This has allowed plant and animal species to adapt. Scientists have now found that the rate of climate change is speeding up and it is now faster than at any point in the last 800,000 years.
There is overwhelming evidence which shows that burning fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal for energy generation is causing the greenhouse effect to strengthen and the climate to warm up.
Fossil fuels are used to generate electricity for homes and businesses and to fuel the transport systems that support our economy and gives us mobility. We consume vast quantities of goods, all requiring energy production and transport. All the waste that goes to landfill sites produces greenhouse gases as it breaks down.
On a global scale, climate change could result in the migration of millions of people, as whole areas become uninhabitable. Plants and animal species could become extinct and tropical disease and pests could spread.
On a more local scale, Suffolk could see:
Sea levels are rising partly as a result of climate change and this could put large parts of East Anglia at risk. With extreme rainfall, river and coastal flooding is likely to become more common. During the summers we may have to cope with more frequent water shortages and, during heat waves, heat stress will become more likely for vulnerable people.