The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has been rapidly increasing over the last 100 years. This is due to the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil, which contain carbon. As the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere changes, the way it retains heat also changes. Scientists now believe this is what is causing the average temperature of the earth to increase, leading to climate change.
Many people predict that the rapid rise in damage caused by natural disasters over the last 30 years is linked to climate change, and unless the global community changes the way it uses and generates energy this process may completely disrupt the global economy in years to come, along with countless lives. In response to this threat, the UN agreed the Kyoto Protocol in Japan in 1997. This requires industrialised nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 and others) by 5% of 1990 levels by 2008-2012. The UK has agreed to meet this target, but this is only the start of wha
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