Climate Change: The Facts (2019) Movie Script

We've had some hot
days this summer
but nothing like what we're going to get
into, starting tomorrow.
Today, the mercury hit a
scorching 35 degrees Celsius.
Temperatures are set to rise even
further this week and could even
break the all-time record.
Right now,
we are facing our greatest threat
in thousands of years.
Climate change.
For a long time, climate change
was something that scientists
were predicting that would
happen in the future.
But that's no longer the case.
What we're doing right now
is we're so rapidly changing
the climate, for the first
time in the world's history,
people can see the
impact of climate change.
Greater storms, greater
floods, greater heat waves,
extreme sea level rises.
All of this is happening far faster
than many of us thought possible.
Scientists across the globe
are in no doubt that at the
current rate of warming,
we risk a devastating future.
It's difficult to see how
the population of the world
will actually feed itself.
It's happening in your world.
It's happening in my world.
Time is very short.
There's still time but
there isn't much time left.
The science is now clear
that urgent action is needed.
We're at a tipping point.
We can change history.
Right now!
What happens now,
and in these next few years,
will profoundly affect the
next few thousand years.
What can be done to avert
disaster and ensure the survival
of our civilisations
and the natural world
upon which we depend?
It's our future.
We can't just let it
slip away from us.
Standing here in the English
countryside, it may not seem obvious
but we are facing a man-made
disaster on a global scale.
In the 20 years since I first
started talking about the impact
of climate change on our world,
conditions have changed far faster
than I ever imagined.
It may sound frightening,
but the scientific evidence is
that if we have not taken
dramatic action within the
next decade,
we could face irreversible damage
to the natural world
and the collapse
of our societies.
We're running out of time,
but there is still hope.
I believe that if we better
understand the threat we face,
the more likely it is that we can
avoid such a catastrophic future.
Our climate is changing
because of one simple fact.
Our world is getting hotter.
We have temperature records
going back over 100 years.
There are dips and troughs.
There are so many years that
are not as warm as other years.
But what we've seen is this steady
and unremitting temperature trend.
20 of the warmest years on
record have all occurred
in the last 22 years.
It's not just Met Office records
that are showing this trend.
Data from the US Climate Centre,
NOAA, the Japanese Met Office
and NASA all show the same
sharp rise in temperatures.
When scientists first became
concerned about these increasing
temperatures, nobody could be sure
exactly what was driving them.
Four decades of research
later, on land, at sea,
and in the far reaches
of our atmosphere,
the evidence is now unequivocal.
What's striking is that warming
trend cannot be explained
by natural factors
but is caused by
human activities.
In particular,
by use of fossil fuels.
The problem is that everything we
do, our entire economy,
from the moment you wake up in
the morning and turn on the light,
or look at your cellphone,
to the moment you go to bed
at night, and even then
because your cellphone
is still drawing power at night,
I mean, we're all using energy
all the time.
And in the industrialised
world, that energy is almost
entirely fossil fuels.
When you burn fossil
fuels, coal, gas and oil,
to power our energy
generation, to heat our homes,
to drive our factories,
to power our cars and our trains,
and travel around the world.
When we burn fossil fuels,
it produces carbon dioxide
as a waste product.
Carbon dioxide acts
like a blanket.
It absorbs the heat radiation
from the Earth's surface
and that keeps the surface warmer
than it would be otherwise.
The problem is what we're
doing now is we're adding extra
carbon dioxide and
other greenhouse gases.
So we're increasing the
thickness of this blanket.
Before we started to burn coal,
the amount of carbon dioxide
in the atmosphere was about
280 parts per million.
It's now over 400
parts per million.
And the planet gets
warmer and warmer.
We have pumped so much carbon
dioxide into our atmosphere
that our world is now around
one degree Celsius hotter
than it was in
pre-industrial times.
This warming is enough to
bring about the raft of effects
we call climate change.
One degree Celsius global
warming may not sound like much,
but it's having a dramatic
effect on our weather.
You warm up the planet,
of course you're going to get
more intense and more
frequent heat waves.
You're going to
dry out the soils.
You're going to
get worse drought.
We're seeing extreme
heat in southern Africa,
Japan, North America,
in the UK as well.
It is officially the hottest
day of the year so far.
Often, the question is,
did climate change cause a certain event?
You can never really
answer that question.
But what scientists do is to
look at whether climate change
made a certain event
more or less likely,
or more or less intense.
Last year, we had a heat wave that
was actually the joint warmest
on record, alongside 1976.
And we have been analysing
this here at the Met Office.
What that showed us was that
the chances of that heat wave
had increased by about 30 times.
So it's now about 30 times more
likely that we had that heat wave
than we would have had
without climate change.
Today, the mercury hit a
scorching 35 degrees Celsius.
So it doesn't mean to say that
every single weather event
is due to climate change.
But what climate change does mean
is that with the baseline climate
having changed,
then the frequency of the
extreme temperatures
is increasing.
And that has a
substantial effect.
In November last year,
when temperatures in Cairns, Australia,
hit 42 degrees,
even creatures specifically adapted
to heat were unable to survive.
They're just
When we got here in the
morning, it was the first time
really we saw it.
There were just dead bats
as far as the eye could see.
There was a deafening
sound of babies crying.
You just don't know
where to start.
So we just started finding
babies, basically.
There's a little baby
attached to its dead mum.
Like all species,
flying foxes have ways of dealing
with the conditions
of their environment.
But it seems their usual cooling
methods are no longer enough
for the kind of temperatures
Australia is now facing.
Last year, temperature records
were broken across the country.
Scientists have shown that it's
simply inconceivable that you would
see these temperatures without
the fact of climate change.
We saved about 350.
The rest are dead.
Over 11,000 died
from that colony.
And if you have two
more events like we had,
the species is gone.
This is climate
change in action.
We need to wake up.
I've seen for myself that in
addition to the many other
threats they face,
animals of all kinds are now
struggling to adapt to
rapidly changing conditions.
Think of the equator.
As climate change occurs,
that central part of the world
becomes increasingly
If climate change is too
fast, we're pushing them
off the planet, in effect.
We're causing extinction
of species already.
And that's irreversible.
Scientists believe that 8%
of species are now at threat
of extinction solely
due to climate change.
This isn't just about
losing wonders of nature.
With the loss of even
the smallest organisms,
we destabilise and ultimately risk
collapsing the world's ecosystems.
The networks that support
the whole of life on Earth.
What's been happening in recent
years is really showing us
what one degree
Celsius really means.
Not just for wildlife,
but for people, for their safety,
for their livelihoods
and for their futures.
As temperatures rise,
the threats we face multiply.
Last year saw record-breaking
wildfires take hold
across the globe.
Firefighters are working
around the clock.
It has to be seen
to be believed.
Australia is seeing some of
its worst fires in years.
We've seen wildfires
break out in Greece,
even in the Arctic.
Wildfire, sweeping across some of
the coldest countries on Earth.
We've seen a tripling in
the extent of wildfire
in the western US, California.
The fires that swept
through California last year
caused $24 billion
worth of damage.
106 people lost their lives.
We're not just talking
about an inconvenience.
We're talking about
people's lives,
their livelihoods and their
communities being damaged.
The wildfires need
an ignition source.
Maybe cigarette butts,
or lightning, and then you need
the weather conditions that are
conducive to that fire spreading.
Do I go?
I don't want to get trapped.
Research has shown that the
chances of having these very hot,
dry conditions has increased
as a result of climate change.
Easy, easy. Oh, my God!
Easy, easy.
Dad, this isn't safe.
It was a dead end road,
so we knew it was our only option
to drive forward.
And all sides of the
road just completely
engulfed in flames.
The car is heating up.
It's going to explode!
All right.
He's going, "Dad, Dad,
we're going to die!"
And I said, "No,
we're going to be fine, you know."
Jesus, God help us.
I stayed calm.
I think being a father,
you're trying to keep
your son calm too at that point.
We're good, we're
good, we're good.
We could hear trees
literally exploding.
Falling all around us.
Please, God, help us.
A large branch went right
over the top of the car.
The whole top of the roof was
burning and we didn't realise it.
There was a tree down.
We can't get out!
That was the moment
when I really thought
that we might die.
Oh, my gosh! Stop! Stop!
Let's get out of here.
I decided to put
the car in reverse.
I had to drive backwards through
everything we had already passed
through to the lakeshore.
This one little boat was
down there watching the fire.
And we were able to wave them
in to help us get out of there.
That, to me, was just a miracle.
But it's not just through
extreme heat events
that climate change
is having an effect.
It's changing our weather
systems in other ways.
This is a basic
result of physics.
With a degree Celsius of warming,
there's more moisture evaporating
off the oceans.
When there's more
moisture in the air,
you're going to
get more rainfall.
You're going to get super storms
and force flooding events.
We are seeing the impacts of climate
change now play out in real time.
They're no longer subtle.
You have had the worst rain in
China, in Japan.
You have had a deluge in Kerala.
The crisis deepens for hundreds
of thousands in Kerala.
Whilst they can't all be
attributed to climate change,
last year's extreme weather events
meant that millions of people
needed humanitarian aid.
Join the dots. It's happening.
It's happening in your world,
it's happening in my world.
And let's be very clear about this
- it is going to get much worse.
Climate change goes
far beyond the weather.
Thousands of miles away and
out of sight of most of us,
another threat is building.
Earth's ice, frozen for
millennia, is melting.
Earth's temperature has risen
by what most people would think
is a small amount
over the past century.
One degree Centigrade.
That's too much for
the ice to withstand.
In the last year,
we've had a global assessment of ice losses
from Antarctica
and from Greenland.
And they tell us that things
are worse than we'd expected.
The Greenland ice
sheet is melting.
It's lost four
trillion tonnes of ice,
and it's losing five times as much
ice today as it was 25 years ago.
If you go to the southern
hemisphere, in the past,
most of the models predicted
that Antarctica would grow.
That's not the case.
Antarctica's losing three
times as much ice today
as it was 25 years ago.
In Antarctica, really small changes
in ocean temperature in particular
melt a lot of ice.
The ocean is only about half
a degree centigrade warmer
than it should be.
But that's melting colossal amounts
of ice from enormous glaciers.
The water that melts from the
ice sheets ends up in one place,
and that's the oceans.
And that's when it starts to
affect people around the rest
of the planet.
The sea level has been stable
for several thousand years.
But if the ice sheets lose icebergs
faster and faster to the ocean,
the sea level goes up.
We know that sea level has already
risen by about 20 centimetres
in the last 100 years.
Rising seas are displacing hundreds
of thousands of people from already
vulnerable coastal areas
in the South Pacific,
Indonesia, Bangladesh.
The impact on families
is going to be something
that I don't think
we could ever prepare for.
In the United States,
Louisiana's on the front line
of this climate crisis.
It's losing land at one of the
fastest rates on the planet,
at about the rate of a football
field every 45 minutes.
The Isle de Jean Charles
was once home to 400 people.
But subsidence caused by
oil and gas extraction,
and now rising seas,
means that in the last six decades
much of it has disappeared.
Before, this was all land.
But due to sea-level rise,
slowly but surely it's washing away.
What we're looking at
here is where I was born
and raised, in 1946.
It's sad.
Very, very sad to see what
happened to my mom and dad's home,
and where they raised us at.
I want to finish my
life, as well, over here.
For the people on
Isle de Jean Charles,
they're running out of options.
And now what we see is just
10% of what used to be there.
We have been working with the
state to move an entire community.
This is the first time the federal
government of the United States
has offered dollars for
the relocation of folks
due to climate change.
When it comes to relocation,
this is the only place
I've ever known as home.
I don't want to abandon it,
I don't want to forget it.
A lot of people say that this land
that we're living on won't be here
in 20 years from now.
That's kind of hard to think
about, where you grew up
isn't going to be here any more.
The residents of Isle de Jean
Charles have been labelled
as the first climate refugees
in the United States.
And that may be true.
But what we know for sure is
that they won't be the last.
Sea levels are not only
increased by melting ice.
The world's oceans are expanding
because they're getting warmer.
Over 90% of the increased
heat trapped in our atmosphere
has been stored in the oceans.
I've witnessed the devastating
effect this is having.
In the last three years,
repeated heat stress has caused
a third of the world's corals
to first bleach and then die.
Our generation is going to
be responsible for the loss
of one of the most majestic
ecosystems on the face of the Earth.
We're literally watching the
death of this natural wonder.
In many ways,
what's happening now across the world
doesn't come as a surprise.
Much of what we're now experiencing,
scientists warned about
over 30 years ago.
What we're seeing at the moment
is exactly what we predicted.
What I'd like to do today is
to start with Dr James Hansen.
In the summer of 1988,
I testified to Congress.
Number one, the Earth is
warmer in 1988 than at any time
in the history of
instrumental measurements.
I said I was 99% confident
that this was a real,
physical effect of the
increasing carbon dioxide.
The Earth is warming by an
amount which is too large
to be a chance fluctuation.
James Hansen was absolutely
a pioneer in trying to reach
the public and politicians.
He played a major role,
there's no doubt, in putting
climate change on the
international agenda.
Those who think we're powerless
to do anything about this
greenhouse effect are forgetting
about the White House effect.
The short-term response
was pretty good.
We are the Lord's creatures,
the trustees of this planet.
The politicians were
saying the right things,
that we should avoid dangerous
human-made changes to climate.
It's just that the policies needed
to achieve that were never adopted.
There are many reasons we
haven't acted on climate change.
Science is definitely
part of the story.
The science is complicated.
Economists had to look at, "OK,
what are the costs are going to be?"
And then technologists
had to work out,
"Well, what actually
can we do about it?"
And that's one of the reasons why
it took a long time for governments
really to put policies in place.
there was also resistance.
Let's be honest about this.
There are incumbent
industries that then,
they knew about climate change,
but they didn't really want
anything to happen.
Net income grew 17%
Earnings rose to $10.9 billion
The organisations that had the most
to lose by acting on climate change
were the fossil fuel companies.
The most profitable industry
possibly in the history of mankind,
making huge profits.
They wanted to continue that.
$11.7 billion profit.
Many of those industries,
basically the oil and gas industry,
the fossil fuel industry,
they undertook a quite concerted
campaign to confuse the science
and confuse the message.
This is industry funded
and industry driven.
Fossil fuel companies engaged
PR consultants who used exactly
the same tactics that have been
used by the tobacco companies,
and there's ample documentation.
The basic strategy is to
cast doubt on the science.
The science is so
distorted and mis-stated.
To promote the message
that we don't really know,
there isn't a consensus.
There are too many complexities
around climate science.
And it will be too
expensive to fix anyway.
We've had flatline temperatures
globally for the last eight years.
The cycle of denial has worked.
And even today,
the President of the United States
says that it's not true.
All of this with the global
warming, and a lot of it's a hoax,
it's a hoax. I mean,
it's a moneymaking industry. OK?
In the UK, we have the
Climate Change Act from 2008,
which was the first law
anywhere in the world to make a
legally binding target for
reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
But what we've also seen
here is a number of people
in politics who've decided
really to campaign against action
on climate change.
There's plenty of evidence that
warming will bring benefits
as well as maybe disadvantages.
The arguments have been, well,
climate change is happening
but it may not be that serious.
There are huge benefits
from a warming planet.
In the IPCC's own report,
there's fewer deaths
from cold-related diseases.
They say we should just adapt
to it rather than try to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.
And of course that's very
attractive to politicians.
Because to decide not to do
something is much more comfortable.
I think that many of us were
willing to hear that message
because we too depend upon
fossil fuels for our lifestyle.
So we're all implicated
in this economic system,
but it's not like we're all
equally responsible, right?
There's no doubt that that seeding
of doubt has slowed the transition
to a clean-energy economy.
We haven't entirely wasted the 30
years but it would have been so easy
to solve the problem if we
had started gradually to make
fossil fuels more expensive
and develop the technologies
to replace them.
But we didn't do that.
And now there are consequences.
Greenhouse gas emissions
have continued to rise
and the problem is
getting harder to solve.
The world's great forests play
a vital role in determining
the balance of carbon
dioxide in our atmosphere.
Trees and plants absorb carbon
dioxide, using it to build
their leaves, stems and roots.
In this process of photosynthesis,
they have sucked up and stored
nearly a third of our emissions.
The main driver of climate change
is greenhouse gas emissions.
Forests are one of our ways out.
They are like the
lungs of the planet.
They are big climate
regulators at a global scale.
July 23rd, 1972.
My work has always
been about monitoring
the land surface and forest.
Thrusting outward into space,
we gain new perspective
on ourselves.
Since 1972 till now,
Landsat has been tracking
and taking pictures of
the Earth's surface.
Circling the Earth,
it offers an ideal means
to monitor change.
In 2008, the US government
says it's open free of charge
and accessible
over the internet.
Millions of images,
It's just this huge
leap in capability.
It was only then where
we saw the whole planet.
And when you see the whole,
it was a bit of a revelation.
And, yeah,
the alarm bells go off.
These warm orangey tones,
that's forest disturbance,
that means forest was removed.
We didn't know
that was going on.
Colombia, Peru,
Paraguay, Bolivia.
We can go anywhere and see
actual forest be cleared.
It usually starts with logging.
Rainforests are
cleared and burned.
They then replace it with soybeans,
rubber, pasture for cattle.
But one of the big
drivers is palm oil.
Palm oil is like
a magical fruit.
We all have palm oil in
our houses right now.
It's found in almost every
good you can think about.
It's in soaps, it's in shampoo.
It's in chocolate,
it's in bread.
It's even in crisps.
What we're doing,
accidentally and inadvertently,
is actually causing deforestation
in other countries because of our
demand for this product.
That means the natural
system is not working.
Habitats are disappearing.
But also when these high
carbon stock forests,
that are centuries old,
are cleared and burned,
CO2 is added to the atmosphere.
Those emissions go up
and warm the planet.
When you look at our maps,
our results are showing
that it's accelerating.
It almost looks
like a contagion.
You know, it looks like a
disease across the planet.
I mean,
the ever-increasing pattern.
If we continue this level of
deforestation, we'll take it all.
And our ability to mitigate
climate change and turn the story
around becomes really
vanishingly small.
Trees are now being cut down
and burnt at such a rate,
that nearly a third of our
carbon dioxide emissions
are caused by deforestation.
It sucks.
I'm a pretty light-hearted,
optimistic guy.
But just looking at this data,
you just look at the stories,
I'd like to see some evidence
of a really strong,
strong kind of
unified political response that
was more than an aspiration
on a kind of piece of
paper, right?
That would be cool.
Looking ahead to the future,
we know that if we continue
releasing carbon dioxide
into our atmosphere,
temperatures will keep
rising and the consequences
will get progressively worse.
But do we know how much worse?
There are thousands of
scientists around the world,
in almost every single
country, working to understand
what will happen in the future if we don't
act, we don't do more.
So we use really powerful climate
models, which are numerical
representations of the
whole of the Earth system.
The oceans, the land,
the atmosphere and the ice
on the planet.
And then we drive it with
increased carbon dioxide,
based on predictions of the future
and then we see what the model does.
They predict that if we
carry on as we are now,
where CO2 continues to increase,
we would hit 1.5 degrees
global warming by
between 2040 and 2050.
We're on course to go through 1.5
degrees in just a few decades' time,
and the models differ
slightly as to exactly when.
And not long after that,
we're on a trajectory to go
through two degrees.
Whilst we don't know exactly
what a two degree warmer world
will look like, there's growing
evidence about the consequences
of crossing this threshold.
We know that with increased
storms, increased floods, droughts
and heat waves, production of
food will be more problematic.
It really becomes difficult to
see at such levels of warming
how we're going to
maintain our agriculture,
such that the population of the
world can actually feed itself.
Ensuring people have access to
clean, safe drinking water
will become much more difficult.
Developing countries
are at the front line
of this battle.
Those parts of the globe
which will suffer the most
and the soonest are not those parts
of the globe which have actually
loaded all those carbon
dioxides into the atmosphere
in the first instance.
But you have to understand,
this is also a crisis for the world.
The fact is that if the
poor are suffering today,
then the rich will
also suffer tomorrow.
As we look further into the future,
predicting how our climate system
might behave becomes
more complex.
There's uncertainty in
climate projection, not least
because we don't know what our
generation when we're older
is going to be doing and
what the future generations
are going to be doing.
But based on our current trajectory,
the various models predict
that by the end of the century,
our planet will be somewhere
between three and
six degrees hotter.
Even if we are looking at the
bottom end of predictions,
that's still really bad.
Over 600 million people
live in coastal areas
that are less than ten
metres above sea level.
Some models predict if we don't do
anything to curb climate change,
then we could be looking at
80 centimetres to a metre
of sea level rise by
the end of the century.
So sea level is dangerous for us in the
UK, as indeed elsewhere.
The main impacts of what might
seem a gradual rise of sea level
is the risk from
storms, surges of sea
that we've never seen before.
If we lose all our coastal cities,
we've got a different planet
and we've got a economic
situation which is out of control.
While there's a lot we understand
about what the future might hold,
the big fear is that there may be
other, more extreme dangers
lurking beyond those
we already know about.
Scientists call
these tipping points.
A tipping point is where in
a part of the climate system,
just a little bit of extra
warming could nudge it into
a different state,
an irreversible change.
At the moment, it is our ongoing
emissions that are driving
global temperatures up.
But if we cross tipping points,
that could spiral beyond our control.
If we imagine a map of the world,
it turns out that there are climate
tipping points
dotted all around it.
Greenland and West
Antarctica could be tipped
into irreversible meltdown.
There are major ecosystems
that we could tip
into an alternative state.
For example,
triggering a climate-induced dieback
of the rainforest,
turning it into a savannah.
Once you've crossed a tipping
point, that's it.
You've triggered a
catastrophic change.
It's going to carry on
getting even hotter,
because you've triggered
something that you can't undo.
One of the potential tipping
points scientists have identified
involves a greenhouse
gas locked underground.
We know that there's large amounts
of methane stored in the permafrost
in the Arctic, and we're worried
that as that permafrost starts
to actually unfreeze,
the methane trapped underneath
will start to bubble up.
Few bubbles down in there.
When we look down into the ice,
we see white pockets of gas.
We can see that there are
bubbles in the surface layer
and then there's a whole column
of bubbles that stacks up.
When this ice sheet melts,
the gases are released
into the atmosphere and you can
actually hear the gases coming out.
Let's have a look.
These flares that we're doing
demonstrate that the bubbles
contain methane.
It's a very potent
greenhouse gas.
Methane is 21 times more powerful
as a greenhouse gas than CO2.
So you can imagine a large amount
of gas burping out of the permafrost
actually causing the acceleration
in the global warming
that we see already happening.
You look out across the
millions of lakes in the Arctic,
you start to wonder
just how much methane
all of these lakes
could release.
The future looks alarming indeed,
but it's not without hope.
There is still time,
if we act now with determination
and urgency.
What do governments, industries,
nations and we, as individuals,
need to do to change our course?
At the 2015 United Nations
climate summit in Paris,
for the first time ever,
nearly every country in the world
came to an agreement.
It set an objective to hold
temperatures below two degrees
and try to limit warming to 1.5.
If we want to try and keep the
global climate to 1.5 degrees,
we have to half our carbon
emissions by 2030 and then hit
zero carbon emissions
globally by 2050.
This poses a huge challenge,
as emissions must be cut from almost
every part of the economy.
But 25% come from how we
produce electricity and heat,
and alternatives are
already within our grasp.
It's actually not
that complicated.
We need to shift our energy system
away from fossil fuels that produce
greenhouse gases and towards
renewable energies that don't.
Every country has got
a different resource.
In Norway, you've got an
awful lot of hydro power.
If you're in India or Morocco,
there's lots and lots of sun.
The problem was that renewables
were much more expensive
than fossil fuels.
But what's happened recently
is rapid falls in the price
of renewable energy.
Solar power has led
the way with this.
Germany went first with of many
of the key technologies in solar,
and China really
picked up the baton.
There's tremendous technological
innovation taking place
around the world.
Solar power is now the cheapest
form of newly installed electricity
in more than 60 countries.
We're seeing a huge growth
in renewable energy.
Despite entrenched
fossil fuel interests,
they've been unable to
stop that transition.
And we've got to do even more.
In the UK, for a long time,
we've been considering
future energy sources.
It used to be ten,
20 years ago that nuclear power
offered a relatively
cheap way through.
And one really good
advantage of nuclear is that
it doesn't produce emissions.
But what's become clearer
recently is that some technologies
are performing
better than others.
And increasingly,
that's been about wind.
Here in the UK, we are building
some of the biggest offshore
wind turbines in the world.
The bigger the turbine,
the more wind can be captured.
Just one revolution of these
blades can power a house for a day.
With the increased capacity,
wind resource is about to become
as cheap and much cheaper in the
future, than fossil fuels.
So far, around 30% of
the UK's electricity
comes from renewable sources.
If that is to continue to
grow, we'll need to develop
parallel systems to keep our energy
reliable and store what we produce.
The bit that comes next,
that means that we have to
decarbonise industry and
we've got to decarbonise
the transport sector.
And that means using things
like electric vehicles,
battery-powered vehicles,
potentially even
hydrogen-powered vehicles.
We know what we have to do.
We really have to
get on and do it.
And this is the political
decision and the brave decision
that needs be taken.
Do we incur a small cost
now, not insignificant cost,
let's be clear on it,
or do we wait and see
the need to adapt?
And the economics is
really clear on this,
that the costs of action are
dwarfed by the costs of inaction.
If we take this path now,
we could potentially buy ourselves time
to crack some of the
most challenging sources
of emissions, like aviation.
One of the major barriers
to obtaining electric flight
is the power that we can
get from batteries today.
But we are seeing strides being made
and seeing a reduction in the weight
of these batteries.
Recently, the world's
first fully electric plane
made it across the Channel.
This was a single-passenger
60 kilowatt power jet.
Now we're trying to retrofit a 20
tonne aircraft and get it flying.
We'll be replacing one of the
engines with an electric motor
driving the fan.
We're going to take these hybrid
electric systems and test them
in the air, test them in
flight at different altitudes
and different temperatures.
And this is going to give us the key
to understand how we might integrate
these systems for
future aircraft designs.
To limit warming to 1.5 degrees,
as well as reducing the amount
of carbon dioxide we
release into the atmosphere,
we need to find ways to
reduce the vast amount
that's already there.
There's a great deal of interest
in the kind of technologies
that we might have that could
actually remove carbon dioxide
from the atmosphere.
Now, the first thing to say is
we already have these technologies
and they're called trees.
If we reforest and rewild vast
areas of the world, then we can
lock up huge amounts of carbon that
is currently in the atmosphere.
In the future, there are other
technologies that might work.
Like direct air capture.
This is one of the world's
first carbon collectors.
Air is sucked into
the collector.
Inside there is a filter
unit that absorbs CO2.
The CO2 sticks to the filter.
And then it's
dissolved in water.
And under high pressure,
we pump it down to 1,800 metres.
It's the same as the
depth of the Grand Canyon.
And there it enters the bedrock.
This is a core taken from deep
within the ground at the site
where we injected our CO2.
It's basalt.
The water just flows through
these pores and reacts
with the rock.
So the white that we see here
is the CO2 turned into stone.
So it's not affecting
our atmosphere.
Technologies like this may be
able to help us in the future,
but to meet emission targets,
action is needed now.
Can what we do as individuals
make a difference?
So the average UK person has got
a carbon footprint of roughly
13 tonnes of carbon dioxide
equivalent, per person, per year.
And that's everything
that they buy and do,
traced right back
down the supply chain.
And we can pick a few things
to start with that will make
a really significant difference.
They should be making our homes
as energy efficient as possible.
That can be as simple as
getting your house insulated
so you waste less energy,
which by the way, will save you money.
Everything that we buy,
even if we can't see it,
has a carbon footprint.
From smartphones,
to clothes, to furniture.
We've all become completely
used to buying things
produced using fossil fuels.
A lot of the time we
really don't know that.
Take a washing machine,
mainly made out of metal
and that starts off with a mine.
Ore is going to be taken
to the blast furnace
to extract the metal.
An enormous amounts of fossil
fuel is going to be used.
And then parts are
turned into components,
more emissions again.
Lastly, it's shipped all
over the world to arrive
at your local shop.
So we need to think about
buying less physical products.
When we do so, buy higher
quality and then make it last.
We've been such a wasteful world,
especially in the more developed
parts of the world.
You actually can be
far less wasteful
and not affect the quality
of your life at all.
Food is about a quarter of our
carbon footprint in the UK.
If we take three steps,
then we can cut that in half.
First step,
just to eat everything that we buy.
In the UK, we waste an enormous
proportion of our food.
And second, avoid air freighted
food which is about 100 times
as impactful as putting it on a
boat, and suddenly becomes
a carbon disaster.
Lastly, the most important thing
to do is to reduce our meat
and dairy consumption,
especially beef and lamb.
The problem is not traditional
farming techniques.
The problem is with
intensive farming.
It takes a lot of resources to rear an
animal, and cows and sheep
are especially high impact
because they ruminate,
which means they
burp up methane.
And the science on this
is absolutely clear cut.
Our studies have shown that
if we take these three steps,
we could knock perhaps even
two tonnes off the average
UK person's carbon footprint.
These things really do matter.
They only get you
part of the way.
But again, if we don't have them,
we won't make the final target.
What happens next
is up to us all.
I truly believe that together
we can bring about the
transformative change
that is needed.
Where your influence really
kicks in is the way that you push
for the cultural change
that we need to see
and the political change
that we need to see.
People being able to make their
voice heard really matters.
You should not underestimate
your own power or underestimate
your own significance
to change people's minds
and change people's behaviour.
When I was younger, I had lots of
plans of becoming different things,
everything from an
actor to a scientist.
But then my teachers in school
told me about climate change.
That was sort of an
eye opener to me.
The more I read about it,
the more I understood how dangerous
it was for everyone.
I stopped going to school.
I stopped talking because
I was just so sad.
And then
that made me very concerned.
One day,
I decided that this was enough.
I wasn't going to
accept this any more.
My future and everyone
else's future is at risk
and nothing is being done.
No-one is doing anything.
So I have to do something.
So I sat myself down on the ground
outside the Swedish parliament
and I decided that I wasn't
going to go to school.
The first day I sat all alone.
Then the second day,
people started joining me.
I wouldn't have imagined
in my wildest dreams
that this would happen.
It happened so fast.
I know hundreds and thousands
of pupils follow you
by not going to school.
You are on the front pages
of the most influential
newspapers and magazines.
I saw that nothing was happening
and no-one was doing anything.
So then I have to do something.
And I want to be able to,
when I grow, to look back and say
that I did what I
could back then.
What do we want?
Climate justice!
When do we want it? Now!
It is amazing that tens of thousands
of children all around the world
have done the same
thing as I did
saying that why should we go to
school, if there's no future?
And why should we learn facts
when the most important
facts don't matter?
I've learned that you are never
too small to make a difference.
And if a few children can get
headlines all over the world,
just by not going to school,
then imagine what we could all
do together if we
really wanted to.
Change is coming,
whether you like it or not.
Today was a day led by the
children in dozens of protests
across the country.
Save our planet!
We still have time to
turn everything around,
to pull the emergency
brake and to take action.
But that short period of time
isn't going to last for long.
There's a message for all of us in
the voices of these young people.
It is after all their generation who
will inherit this dangerous legacy.
We now stand at a unique
point in our planet's history,
one where we must all share
responsibility both for our
present wellbeing and for
the future of life on Earth.
Every one of us has the power to
make changes and make them now.
Our wonderful natural world
and the lives of our children
and grandchildren,
and all those who follow them,
depend upon us doing so.