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Climate Change

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Recent climate records show that the world is getting warmer, and that the rise in temperature is taking place with unprecedented speed. Evidence is also mounting that extreme weather events - such as floods, cyclones and droughts - are becoming more commonplace, and more severe.

Though cause and effect are notoriously difficult to prove in climatology, the chief culprit behind global warming is thought to be the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, arising from the use of coal, oil and gas during the past 200 years.

Businesses are responsible for a large slice of global carbon dioxide emissions. It is not just heavy industries like steelmaking and chemicals that contribute to the 'greenhouse effect', but also the wider commercial sector, which consumes large amounts of energy for lighting, space-heating and transport.

The 1997 Kyoto Protocol committed industrialized nations to reducing their carbon dioxide emissions. Business will need to play its part in delivering these targets, and in helping to stabilize the atmosphere.

Click here to go to IISD's work on Climate Change and Energy.

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