With the influence of young activist Greta Thunberg and strikes taking place across the world, climate change is an issue which has dominated politics across the world. Despite Brexit and the NHS being at the forefront of British politics at this moment in time, this issue has become so severe that people are constantly speaking out about it.

Our withdrawal from the EU may damage relations with the union, and overturning the 2016 referendum result may be a betrayal to democracy. Those two things have been argued passionately. Let’s put this all into perspective, our planet and livelihoods might change drastically if we don’t force action to take care of our environment. This is now an emergency.

We must look at the non-renewable resources that we keep using. As it is now imperative that all cars sold from 2040 in the UK must be electric. We can also solve the issue of shortages of fossil fuels like oil in other ways in the short term. Seeing trains and buses empty is a shame, a waste. There must be a way of getting more people using public transport so fewer cars are on the road.

Electricity seems to be the way forward on a lot of things now. Although electricity is hardly new, it’s increasingly being used as an alternative. The major advantage of it is that there are many ways in which we can obtain it without using non-renewable resources. Hydropower, wind and solar power can help to provide for many homes around the country. Although this won’t be enough, using these methods can only be a positive and promising move for the UK. 

However, this doesn’t give us an excuse to use it excessively. Preferably, there should be a cap on how much electricity a single household should be able to use per day. However, there would need to be consideration for the elderly who require and heavily rely on heating during the winter months. The burning of fossil fuels is extremely harmful in terms of pollution. This is something that needs to be addressed by all nations around the world.

The Paris Agreement is a good start, but there’s still a long way to go. Disappointingly, the United States has pulled out of this important agreement. It really should be a legal requirement to sign up to this accord. The majority of other countries are working together, so why is the US completely ignoring this? What about the futures of our children and grandchildren? 

When our planet is at stake, we can’t afford to take risks. Banning the sales of petrol and diesel cars from 2040 is just the first step. If a huge country like the USA can rejoin the accord, we could work together to secure a better future.

However, we must also condemn the actions of some Extinction Rebellion protesters. The purpose of their organisation should be for research and providing a solution to the problems we currently face on our planet. Blocking roads and getting on top of planes is not the answer. It just causes more problems and is a great annoyance to the general public. If they want more support, the group will have to find other ways of getting their message across. 

Some predictions about global warming in the past have turned out to be inaccurate. Whilst that’s true, what’s the harm in cleaning up our environment so we can live on a better planet? A decrease in pollution can only lead to an increased number of people living better, longer and healthier lives. 

As well as this, we cannot just presume that all current predictions on global warming will be false just because some previous ones have turned out not to be true. We now have more modern and advanced technology, with brilliant scientists who have genuine concerns about the future.

It’s now or never. We can choose to be selfish or we can choose a cleaner and brighter future for the next generation. If we can set an example to younger people on how to treat the planet, it could be the catalyst for further action on climate change. Climate change is inevitable but it’s how we can control it. I don’t condone the actions of Extinction Rebellion protesters. However, it’s now time for action. 

Words mean nothing now that our planet, as we know it, is at stake. The clock is ticking.

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