by: Damien Clarkson


In the midst of the political chaos in the UK some positive news on climate change was recently announced. The UK government accepted the Climate Change Committee’s recommendation for a ‘fifth carbon budget’.

The government announced tougher than expected greenhouse gases emissions targets. The UK government will now aim to emit 57% of greenhouse gases based on 1990 levels.

The danger is that chaotic domestic politics in UK and the rest of Europe, could see action on climate change sidelined.

This is a time when the global community needs to come together to ratify the Paris Agreement ahead of the COP 22 summit in November.

In the UK there has been a lot of focus on immigration and border control. The phase ‘Taking back control’, became the buzz phrase of the ‘Leave’, EU campaign.

Any climate scientist will tell you that climate change doesn’t respect international borders. It doesn’t care whether you are in the EU, It doesn’t care about the colour of your skin or what language you speak. Climate change is indiscriminate.

Climate scientist recently reported that levels of co2 have reached 400 parts per million . This is the first time this level of atmospheric carbon has occurred in 15 million years.

As of today France are currently the only industrialised nation to have ratified the Paris agreement. But momentum is gathering, last week German cabinet approved the Paris Agreement. The agreement will now go to their parliament for ratification.

We need to create a world where climate temperature increase is no more than 1.5c. Doing this will need an end to all fossil fuel subsidies and a rapid shift to 100% renewable energy.


In a recent blog George Marshall talked about ‘Control’, as the key phrase that resonated with people voting for the UK to leave the EU.

As climate change communicators with overwhelming scientific evidence on our side, it is easy for us to fall into the trap of talking in dry information heavy way. And sometimes we forgot to talk in a way which empowers people to feel their actions can make a difference.

CARE’S work with refugees has shown us that many are fleeing from regions affected climate stresses, like drought and food famine.

It has never been more important that the international community stays united. The work to ratify the Paris Agreement in the coming months needs every nation to play its part.

Let’s work together and create a 1.5c future where we can collectively survive and thrive. That sounds like taking back control to me.