We are facing a very serious threat, that is putting our planet Earth at risk.

“Climate change is the single greatest threat to a sustainable future but, at the same time, addressing the climate challenge presents a golden opportunity to promote prosperity, security and a brighter future for all.”

(Ban Ki-Moon, Former Secretary-General of UN)

Climate change is clearly a major threat to biodiversity and is one of the main environmental problems of the 21st century.

These climate changes consist of changes in the state of the Earth’s climate, remaining for a long period. The changes may be of natural origin, resulting from volcanic activity, changes in the inclination of the earth’s axis, among others; or of anthropic origin, which is resulting from the action of human activity. However, in recent times, these climate changes are mainly due to the intense activity of man, through the use of fossil fuels that have greatly intensified global warming and its consequences are mostly irreversible for life on Earth.

Therefore, investment in renewable energy is a keyway, as they replace fossil fuels and would be the most ideal way to control greenhouse gas emissions, as these are one of the main causes of climate change.

What are the greenhouse gases?

Greenhouse gases are gaseous substances, naturally, present in the atmosphere and absorb in part of the infrared radiation emitted by the sun and reflected by the earth’s surface, making it difficult to escape this radiation (heat) into space. According to the Kyoto Protocol, greenhouse gases are as follows: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and two gas families, hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) and Perfluorocarbon (PFC).

This natural phenomenon, called the Greenhouse Effect, prevents heat loss, and keeps the planet Earth warm, even enabling the maintenance of life. However, due to human actions, the increase in the concentration of these gases in the atmosphere has been reflected, leading to an increase in the global average temperature.

What is the impact of climate change?

Climate change can produce a number of impacts, which should be more serious in countries with less capacity to adapt to the changes that will arise. We highlight some of these consequences: global warming; loss of ice cover at the poles; sea level rising; increasing the frequency of extreme weather events such as droughts and rainfall; changes in the availability of water resources; desertification; changes in ecosystems and loss of biodiversity; risk of food insecurity and the collapse of food systems; impacts on the health and well-being of the population of our community.

To mitigate these consequences, the European Union has been proposing and taking solutions and measures to make Europe a sustainable economy, thanks to reducing emissions and improving energy efficiency, among others. 

What is the European Union’s role in climate change?

Today, the EU is a world leader in the fight against climate change, proposing solutions and measures to spread to the rest of the planet, thereby promoting a united and global action to combat climate change.

To achieve the primary objective – sustainable development – the EU has set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by between 80% and 95% by 2050, thereby achieving climate neutrality in Europe and achieving the main objective of the Paris Agreement – maintaining the global temperature increase at 1.5 degrees.

Thus, in order to achieve these numbers, the EU proposes the creation of a low-emission economy, and an environment-friendly society with: greener jobs, the use of renewable energy and the application of European waste regulations; clean transport, hybrid or electric vehicles and increased use of public transport, which could reduce emissions by 50% by 2050; energy efficient systems and buildings.

In short, in order to achieve these objectives, and in fact it is important to achieve at the global level, there must be greater cooperation with other parts of the planet and have everyone’s support to improve the climate situation of planet Earth. In addition, all actions carried out with this objective will have to take into account all areas of production and consumption, which take place in society and the current economy, as well as, there should be more funding for research and innovation.


1.     European Commission (2019), “¿Qué hace la UE por el cambio climático?. Disponível em: httpss://ec.europa.eu/spain/news/20191202_what-doe-EU-for-climate-change_es (consultado em 12/10/2020)

2.     European Commission, “EU climate action and the European Green Deal”. Disponível em: httpss://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/eu-climate-action_en (consultado em 12/10/2020)

3.     NASA, “Climate Change: How Do We Know?”. Disponível em: httpss://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/ (consultado em 09/10/2020)

4.     NASA, “The Causes of Climate Change”. Disponível em: httpss://climate.nasa.gov/causes/ (consultado em 09/10/2020)

5.     NASA, “The Effects of Climate Change”. Disponível em: httpss://climate.nasa.gov/effects/ (consultado em 09/10/2020)

6.     BBC NEWS (2020), “What is climate change? A really simple guide”. Disponível em: httpss://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-24021772 (consultado em 10/10/2020)

Written by Maria Luisa Pereira

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