Effects of climate change can be limited

Climate change is one of the most hotly debated topics on the environmental agenda and calls are once again being made for policies aimed at limiting its effects.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its Synthesis Report, which identified that the issue isn't something people should just be taking for granted.

Instead, there are several mechanisms that can be used to make sure the impact of climate change is limited both now and well into the future.

"Addressing climate change will not be possible if individual agents advance their own interests independently; it can only be achieved through cooperative responses, including international cooperation," noted Vicente Barros, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.

The group has called for more policies and institutions to be put in place to deal with the issue and take action wherever is possible, while ensuring economic growth isn't hampered.

These strategies would need to be implemented across the board, by everyone from individual homeowners right up to industry and gas suppliers.

Calls have also been made for the science of greenhouse gas emissions to be better understood, which could give people greater incentive to change their potentially harmful habits.

IPCC sources said the more human activity has an impact on climate, the greater the risks that will emerge, creating the need for a proactive rather than reactive approach to dealing with the issue.

Australia is just one nation where the impact of climate change is already being witnessed, with average rainfall declining across many eastern and south-western parts of the country.

Meanwhile, government data reveals average temperatures have increased 0.9 degrees C since 1950, as well as a rise in the number of hot days and nights experienced.

Posted by Nikki Wilson-Everett