According to the United Nations, climate change refers to “long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns.” Since the Industrial Revolution, human activity has been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas.
Naturally occurring greenhouse gasses capture the sun’s warmth and help sustain regulated temperatures in our atmosphere, but the destruction of natural resources and the release of gasses from landfills and factories traps too much warmth, causing changes in our climate. Communities of color experience climate change disproportionately due to the placement of hazardous waste facilities, poor enforcement of environmental laws and regulation, and limited infrastructure leading to higher temperatures.
The UN’s six-sector approach to reducing emissions that harm our ecosystem covers energy, industry, agriculture, nature, transport, and buildings and cities. Environmental justice advocates seek to ensure environmental protections extend to the most vulnerable communities.
A little change goes a long way. We can mitigate our impact on our habitat, climate, and fellow species. Check out our list of small changes you can make to contribute to positive change.