HAVE you noticed how summers are getting warmer and winters wetter, writes Cllr Giles Archibald, leader of South Lakeland District Council.

Our climate is changing and this is mainly due to human activity, principally the burning of fossil fuels.

Our temperature is already 1°C on average higher than it was in the 1870 and it is due to go even higher.

Human activity has set the wheels in motion for ever more warming and even if we stopped burning fossil fuels immediately, climate change would continue to happen.

Forest fires raging in California, Siberia and Australia (and the CO2 created by them) are just one of many examples of the consequences of climate change that will exacerbate the warming.

Perhaps as many as two billion people will be without access to freshwater, food supplies could be threatened, sea levels will rise, which will threaten coastal communities, weather systems will become more violent, diseases will spread and much of the coral reef will likely die.

There is a looming crisis and it is getting worse and getting closer to home.

While the situation is serious it is not irrecoverable. But everyone needs to take action to tackle this global problem. And, by everyone, I mean world leaders, national and local government bodies and every single individual.

Governments around the world reached an agreement in Paris in 2015 to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Sadly, the reductions they agreed are not all happening and the agreements themselves are not yet sufficient. There is much more to do.

South Lakeland District Council declared a Climate Emergency in February 2019 and now has a climate change policy. It includes a target of the council being net carbon neutral on its own estate by 2030 and promises to encourage all sectors in the local community to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions. In this column, I will be explaining the science of climate change, outlining some of the moral Issues related to its resolution, discussing ways we can all work together and looking at the issue of biodiversity loss.