Climate crisis overview

In November 2019, Camden Council formally declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency, recognising not only the threat of climate change but also the impact of irreversible damage to our planet.

Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere help to regulate global temperatures. Over the past century, human activity has increased greenhouse gases at unprecedented rates, mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels (natural gas, petroleum, and coal).  As a result, global temperatures have risen by 1°C.

This change in temperature has already started to lead to more frequent and extreme weather events such as the significant flooding which occurred in Camden last summer.

In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report ‘Global Warming of 1.5 °C’ called on global heating to be limited to 1.5 °C, highlighting the devastating impact a temperature rise of 2°C would have on our food and water supply, human life and economic growth. The latest report, released in 2022, stated that we need to act ‘now or never’ if we are to stay within this limit.

Global temperatures are on track to exceed 1.5°C in the early 2030s. Therefore, we need to take urgent action to avoid a global climate crisis.

Climate crisis fact bank

Did you know that on average, a Camden resident causes around 15 tonnes of CO2 each year?

To limit global heating to 1.5 degrees, someone born in Camden today has to limit their lifetime CO2 emissions to approximately 255 tonnes.

The following resources explain more about the causes and impacts of the climate crisis:

  • A simple guide to climate change developed by the BBC

Climate change - a simple guide

  • The climate crisis in seven charts and what you can do to help

Climate crisis: where we are in seven charts

  • The UK government’s official web page on climate change

Climate change explained

  • Climate change FAQs: causes, impacts and actions, a resource from the Grantham Institute

Climate change FAQs: causes, impacts and actions

  • Calculate your environmental footprint and identify the actions you can take to reduce your impact

WWF Footprint Calculator

  • Check your lifetime carbon budget

Lifetime carbon budget estimator