Climate Change 101

Module one

Heart of the City has launched climate for SMEs: 4 steps to action, a climate action course bespoke for SMEs. We’re helping SMEs act against one of the greatest issues of our time, climate change, and contribute to the government’s legally binding target for the UK to be net zero by 2050. To reach this target, every inch of the UK needs to act, from large businesses all the way to micro businesses and into your personal lives.

Climate change is causing the earth to heat up quickly, resulting in a climate crisis. It’s been linked to a number of extreme weather events, from flooding and fires to record breaking temperatures.

The rapid rise in the earth’s temperature has been caused by humans, since the industrial revolution when the widespread use of fossil fuels began. Burning fossil fuels releases gases into the atmosphere that trap heat from the sun, preventing it from leaving the atmosphere, causing a greenhouse effect on the planet. Other human actions such as deforestation and over consumption exacerbate the problem. If we do nothing, the earth as we know it will change and we’ll see dramatic consequences: frequent extreme weather events, rising sea levels and vanishing coastal areas.

BBC News published their what is climate change? video which highlights some of the key points relating to the cause of climate change and the steps we all must take to slow it down:

“The world’s average temperature is now 1.1°C higher than it was in pre-industrial times. Sounds small? It’s not. It’s already changed our planet.

Can we stop it? Not completely, but we can slow it down significantly […] it requires enormous changes to the way we live.

The UN has warned that the window to act on climate change is closing and in 2021 world leaders will have to set out, in the greatest detail yet, how they plan to cut their emissions ahead of COP26, a major climate change meeting in Glasgow in November.”

It’s so important for your business to act now. The actions you take to become net zero by 2050 (or before) can help slow down climate change and limit the earth’s temperature rise to 1.5°C – that’s above pre-industrial levels which is the vital tipping point.

This was last updated in September 2021 by Heart of the City. We’ve created these resources for individual SMEs to use. None of our content is to be adapted, reused or repurposed for commercial use.

Climate for SMEs: 4 Steps to Action is funded by the City of London Corporation in support of its Climate Action Strategy targets for a net zero and resilient Square Mile.