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WWF Climate Publications


By Governments
Scientists around the world are now issuing urgent warnings that global warming is a fact. No more is it a matter of conjecture: it is real, it is serious, it threatens our lives and our children's future. 

But the same scientists also believe that it is not too late
to avert the most severe effects that will undoubtedly hit the planet in the next hundred years or so - as long as we act now.

In 1992, a start was made. More than 150 heads of government signed the United Nations Convention on Climate Change that
seeks to stabilize greenhouse-gas emissions and slow down the rate of change to manageable proportions. They committed themselves to implementing programs that would mitigate climate change, and to cooperate in research, education, and training.

Since those heady days, however, the pace of progress has slowed. It is now essential that governments across the political spectrum take immediate and meaningful action that will lead to cleaner energy production, better and more efficient public transport, responsible industrial and agricultural practices, careful forestry procedures, and far more effective waste management. Not only that, but countries throughout the world must also develop international standards for energy efficiency and agree to legally-binding treaties to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases.

By Industry
The 20th century has given birth to the most exciting technological times the world has yet known. Advances in health care, scientific research, transport, telecommunications, food production, and methods of mass manufacture - not to mention our steadily evolving understanding of the environment - have reached frontiers we would not have believed possible a generation ago. Now, in the presence of a new millennium, the scope for further experimentation and invention is

Green electricity - power generated from renewable sources rather than from conventional fuels - is available for the asking. Power companies must invest in natural resources such as water and wind. Various schemes are already under way in the Netherlands and the United States, so a start has been made. WWF is developing an auditing service for companies currently exploring renewable energy projects.

All industry can benefit from becoming more energy efficient. This not only saves businesses money, but also helps reduce the worldwide threat of climate change. So the industrial sector must seriously turn its attention to developing and manufacturing substitutes, such as vehicles powered by alternative fuels. Architects need to design buildings that tap solar energy and have more reflective facades, which help to keep interiors cool. And all the time, we must plant more trees in our towns and cities - to provide shade, keep temperatures down, and absorb CO2.

By You

At the rate new technology is spreading to the home, everyone can do something to reduce the threat of climate change. Telephone banking is already common in many countries, and ordering goods by cable television, the Internet, and other electronic means is rapidly becoming the norm. Communications technology is now so good that more and more people are able to work from home and use video or telephone conferencing facilities instead of travelling.

Cutting out just one car journey a week will help the climate crisis. So will turning the central heating down by merely 1ºC. The use of insulation, energy-saving electrical appliances, and efficient light bulbs will make a difference too: some bulbs can last 10,000 hours and use only 20 per cent of the electricity consumed by conventional filament bulbs.

Choosing glass over plastic makes a substantial difference: glass is relatively cheap to produce and its natural components are plentiful, but many plastics are indestructible - and burning plastic products usually releases toxic fumes into the atmosphere. And if everyone pressed for improved public transport - and then used it - we would save millions of litres of fuel. Other simple actions that will benefit the planet include recycling paper, glass, aluminium, tin, and clothing, and not buying disposable products or anything with excessive packaging. All these improvements not only help protect the environment, but also have the added attraction of saving money. 



to avert: to avoid (para evitar)
seeks to: tries to (intenta, trata de)
slow down
: reduce (reducir)
committed themselves to: engaged to (se comprometieron a)
: exciting (excitantes)
: tempo, rhythm (ritmo)
: the science of planting and caring for forests (silvicultura, ingeniería forestal)
waste: materials unused (los desperdicios)
: without any limits (ilimitado)

tap: make good use of (hagan buen uso de)
: the faces or fronts of buildings (frentes, fachadas)
cutting out: removing (reduciendo, recortando)
turning the central heating down: making the central heating lower (bajar la calefacción central)
insulation: use of insulating materials (materiales aislantes)
: gases (emanaciones, gases)

Click here to read this CLIMATE CRISIS report all over again.