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United Kingdom

Who would have thought one hundred years ago that Great Britain would be getting hot? Not many. The summers are getting longer and longer, hotter and hotter. 2018 was the joint hottest summer and the realm is not prepared.


London is one of the – if not the – most important financial hub in the world. Its position between the US and Asia, from within Europe (although this is a touchy subject nowadays) make it a prime candidate to become a financial and knowledge centre for climate action across the globe. The UK is already Europe’s hub for environmental and philanthropic fundraising and has a tradition of strong civil society support. 


As a country whose hard, soft and stick power is felt all over the world (Elton John, if you’re reading this…), the UK has the potential to tip the scales in favour of climate action and environmental ways to conduct business and finance. As a low-lying marshy archipelago, the UK is at risk from key climate change menaces such as changing sea-levels or extra-tropical hurricanes, whose range and frequency is on the rise.


At the moment, Great Britain is focused on domestic affairs such as solving a political gridlock which the last decade has eventually led to. The UK’s position as a pragmatic thought leader (and ironic punsters of the world) could bring about change much faster than expected. It all depends on willpower.


TOTAL POPULATION

64.6 million YEAR 2014

CO2 EMISSIONS

419,800 kt COUNTRY, YEAR 2014

3,241,800 kt European Union, YEAR 2014

“To cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent before 2050.”

PARIS AGREEMENT TARGET

Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011

UNITED KINGDOM | ALL PROJECTS

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john gaffey donated € 12 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Adi Lazos donated € 22 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Juliana Medaglia donated € 20 to Fighting the Silent Disappearance of the Great Brazilian Savannah. FREDERIC ACHARD donated € 50 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Thalita Medaglia donated € 15 to Fighting the Silent Disappearance of the Great Brazilian Savannah. Katie Hereing donated € 25 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Angelica Seminara donated € 10 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Nevena Vlaykova donated € 20 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Melanie Bitto donated € 40 to Application of satellite telemetry data to better understand the breeding strategies of humpback whales in the Southern Hemisphere. Cristiano Rocco Marra donated € 30 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Ro Leaver donated € 30 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Phili Denning donated € 25 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Isabel gregory donated € 20 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Akshay Pai donated € 50 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Emma Burnett donated € 50 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Boyan Mihaylov donated € 50 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. François Leclerc donated € 40 to Application of satellite telemetry data to better understand the breeding strategies of humpback whales in the Southern Hemisphere. Yordan Yordanov donated € 25 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Clara Hermansson donated € 40 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Peter Thompson donated € 10 to Environmental Protection through Greenery and Awareness Interventions in Kabul and Wardak. Vihra Dincheva donated € 30 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Kris Bertens donated € 50 to Educating Montenegro's New Generation to Break Free from Litter and Plastic. Anna Lupanova donated € 20 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Simona Dakova donated € 20 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Neicho Rahnev donated € 10 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Pavel Boev donated € 20 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Francesco Zanetto donated € 60 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Hind Alsalloom donated € 50 to Iraqi Youth Climate Change Movement. Francesca Cardani donated € 10 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Michele Frison donated € 5 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Fabio Sai donated € 5 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Paola Tresca donated € 27 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Andrea Mongiello donated € 5 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Yordan Yordanov donated € 25 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Matteo Masi donated € 15 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Massimo Sacco donated € 10 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Ananda Nidhi donated € 20 to Toranam: Strengthening Agroforestry in Andhra Pradesh. andrea borsetto donated € 15 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. ALESSIO GIANNONI donated € 25 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Yordan Yordanov donated € 25 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Laura Zorzetto donated € 15 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Rossana Mattachini donated € 20 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Elsa De Grandi donated € 5 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Noah Silver donated € 15 to Empowering Mangrove Women for a Healthy & Resilient Ecosystem. Noah Silver donated € 15 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Noah Silver donated € 15 to Agro Eco Village Project in Ri-Bhoi District. Noah Silver donated € 15 to Building an Efficient Technology for Women's Economic Empowerment. Noah Silver donated € 15 to Strengthening Malian Forest Management to Protect Biodiversity and Alleviate Poverty. Noah Silver donated € 30 to Toxic Chemicals and Waste Sensitization for Vulnerable Communities. Stefania Butera donated € 25 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

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CLIMATE SIGNIFICANCE

The UK has the potential to be a fully green nation. From renewable energies to smart agriculture, Great Britain is in advance in many domains. It has started investing in shoreline wind, wave and geothermal power, whilst also buying from Areva, (the world’s leading nuclear energy provider) the largest nuclear power plant in history. 

In 2006, the landmark climate report Stern Review concluded that the cost of non-action far exceeded the investments required to prepare the country for the coming climatic changes. And Her Majesty’s subjects have followed suit by reducing their carbon emissions, raising their carbon efficiency and engaging a large refurbishment programme for housing heating efficiency.

Despite large offshore fossil fuel reserves, confirming the potential for renewable energies, the UK is one of the most active countries in the exploitation of natural gas from the fracking method, which is something of an environmental heresy. Fracking contaminates underground water and soils, facilitates landslides and earthquakes, and requires incredibly large quantities of freshwater. 

The UK is an archipelago whose heartland island is peatland. As a result, one of the main unknowns of the climate equation in the coming decades will be sea level rise. How much of England will actually get gnawed by the relentless North Sea? Will London fall? Will there be a new season of Doctor Who? Her Majesty needs saving, and so does the country, Bond. Pick a mission.


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DATA INSIGHTS

The UK is classified as a high-income country by the World Bank. The history of carbon emissions and exposure to climate risk provides useful insights into the UK’s position in the fight against climate change. The following plots give an overview of the UK’s historic greenhouse gas emissions in perspective with global emission levels, as well as the country’s climate action and sustainability performance.

The UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The UK’s timeline of total GHG emissions and the percentage change from 1990

This plot combines 3 pieces of information measured from 1990 - 2012: The bar chart indicates the volume of the country’s GHG emissions, the dotted line shows the variation of this volume compared to the baseline 1990, and the full line presents the same variation, but globally.


Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and fluorocarbons are the main drivers of global warming. Between 1990 and 2012, the world’s emissions grew by 40%.


From 1990 to 2009, the UK’s emissions decreased by 25%. This declining trend is due to a decline in the use of coal for electricity generation by shifting to renewable energy sources. Overall, the UK’s GHG emissions decreased by 25% from 1990 to 2012. In the UK, the energy sector is responsible for the largest share (80%) of the country’s emissions; nevertheless, it delivered the largest reductions in emissions from 1990 to 2012. The transport sector is the only sector where emissions continue to rise, and it remains one of the largest emitting sectors of the UK economy. 


In 2012, the UK produced over 580 million tonnes of CO2 eq. GHG emissions. This is equivalent to the amount of CO2 being absorbed annually by 2.8 million km² of forest (more than ten times the size of the UK). As coal demand continues to fall and renewable energy sources expand, the UK’s emissions are expected to decrease further in the future. (Source: WRI, 2018; World Bank, 2018) 


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The UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The UK’s timeline of total GHG emissions and the percentage change from 1990

graph

This plot combines 3 pieces of information measured from 1990 - 2012: The bar chart indicates the volume of the country’s GHG emissions, the dotted line shows the variation of this volume compared to the baseline 1990, and the full line presents the same variation, but globally.


Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and fluorocarbons are the main drivers of global warming. Between 1990 and 2012, the world’s emissions grew by 40%.


From 1990 to 2009, the UK’s emissions decreased by 25%. This declining trend is due to a decline in the use of coal for electricity generation by shifting to renewable energy sources. Overall, the UK’s GHG emissions decreased by 25% from 1990 to 2012. In the UK, the energy sector is responsible for the largest share (80%) of the country’s emissions; nevertheless, it delivered the largest reductions in emissions from 1990 to 2012. The transport sector is the only sector where emissions continue to rise, and it remains one of the largest emitting sectors of the UK economy. 


In 2012, the UK produced over 580 million tonnes of CO2 eq. GHG emissions. This is equivalent to the amount of CO2 being absorbed annually by 2.8 million km² of forest (more than ten times the size of the UK). As coal demand continues to fall and renewable energy sources expand, the UK’s emissions are expected to decrease further in the future. (Source: WRI, 2018; World Bank, 2018) 


The UK Sustainable Development Goals Index (SDGI)

The UK’s performance on sustainable development

The SDG Index describes a country’s progress towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGI combines indicators of climate action with other socio-economic development measures that contextualise a country’s environmental performance with the rest of its challenges and reality. 


The global SDG Index score can be interpreted as the percentage of achievement of the goals. 


Each dot in the plot represents a country and its score (y-axis). Countries at the bottom score lower on the index as the countries at the top. Sweden currently scores the highest at 85 and the Central African Republic scores lowest at 38.

 

The UK’s score of 79 is below the average of Northern European countries. Although the UK performs well in areas such as promoting well-being, increasing the share of renewable energy and providing good quality of education, the country still falls short of addressing some aspects of sustainable development. This is mainly because the UK performs poorly on measures like promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems and changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production. (Source: SDGI, 2018) 


The impacts of climate change vary by country and region. But wherever you are, local-level adaptation projects are necessary. You have all the cards in hand, now go explore our live projects and be one of the good guys.

 


TAKE ACTION

The UK Sustainable Development Goals Index (SDGI)

The UK’s performance on sustainable development

graph

The SDG Index describes a country’s progress towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGI combines indicators of climate action with other socio-economic development measures that contextualise a country’s environmental performance with the rest of its challenges and reality. 


The global SDG Index score can be interpreted as the percentage of achievement of the goals. 


Each dot in the plot represents a country and its score (y-axis). Countries at the bottom score lower on the index as the countries at the top. Sweden currently scores the highest at 85 and the Central African Republic scores lowest at 38.

 

The UK’s score of 79 is below the average of Northern European countries. Although the UK performs well in areas such as promoting well-being, increasing the share of renewable energy and providing good quality of education, the country still falls short of addressing some aspects of sustainable development. This is mainly because the UK performs poorly on measures like promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems and changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production. (Source: SDGI, 2018) 


The impacts of climate change vary by country and region. But wherever you are, local-level adaptation projects are necessary. You have all the cards in hand, now go explore our live projects and be one of the good guys.

 


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