What is climate change?

Put simply, climate change is the build up of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere, and the result is that the planet is getting warmer.


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and is in large part due to an increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from human activities. The IPCC believes that warming of the climate will probably lead to extreme weather events becoming more frequent and unpredictable. It makes clear that limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of GHG emissions1.

The world’s population is projected to increase by around 1.5 billion between 2014 and 2035, and the world’s GDP (gross domestic product) is expected to more than double over the same period2.

This is driving an increase in the world’s demand for energy. Meeting this demand will require a diverse mix of fuels.

Society’s challenge is how to balance action to address climate change with energy security, affordability and economic development.

  1. www.ipcc.ch
  2. www.bp.com