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What is COP 23?

COP 23 is the 23rd global Climate Change Conference organised by the UN to enable all countries of the world (except Syria and the USA) to face up to the challenges and causes of climate change in a fair, united and coordinated way.

Climate change as a phenomenon is not new, and has happened several times in the planet’s past, but what makes this such a worrying time is both the rate of change and the severity of that change, which has been exacerbated by human activity over the past two hundred years.

The most damaging of human activities has been the burning of billions of tonnes of fossil fuels releasing record levels of CO2 (carbon dioxide) into the atmosphere and causing the sun’s heat to be trapped as if by a huge global duvet.

This global warming is the driving force of climate change and is responsible for many of the extremes in weather patterns we have seen in the last few years.

So a key challenge for delegates at COP 23 is to agree ways we can ween ourselves off fossil fuels while still keeping the lights on all over this beautiful world of ours.

Tom Walsh

CEO, Sustainable Merton


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