Over the last 100 years, as the amount of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases has increased significantly through human activities and the use of land has changed considerably, the climate has started to change dramatically.
In the UK, it is anticipated that on average there will be drier summers (which will lead to more pressure on water resources), and when there is rainfall it will be heavy and cause flooding, changes to wildlife habitats and faster coastal erosion.
In addition to the impacts of climate change, the population is increasing around the world and the earth has a finite amount of resources. Non-renewable energy resources such as oil, coal and gas will become scarcer and more expensive if we continue to increase our use of them.
We should be reducing our use of energy through these fossil fuels because of their contribution to climate change and because there is a limited amount of resources.
How we are tackling climate change?
Our Climate Change Action Plan sets out the actions we are taking as a Council to reduce our carbon emissions.
Actions are included to:
- reduce the energy and fuel use of the Council
- to improve the energy efficiency of housing in the borough
- to promote renewable energy
- to encourage greener travel in the borough
- and to ensure development in Havering minimises its impact on climate change
Our Greenhouse Gas Reports are submitted to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and provide a summary of our carbon emissions.
How you can help with climate change and reduce your energy bills
- Always turn off the lights when you leave a room
- Use energy saving light-bulbs. They last up to 10 times longer than ordinary bulbs and using one can save you around £55 over the lifetime of the bulb
- Don't leave appliances on standby and remember not to leave laptops and mobile phones on charge unnecessarily. Leaving plugs switched on still uses energy even if the phone is not attached!
- If possible, fill up the washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher - one full load uses less energy than two half loads
- Only boil as much water as you need
- A dripping hot water tap wastes energy and in one week wastes enough hot water to fill half a bath, so fix leaking taps and make sure they are fully turned off
- If you have a programmer, set your heating and hot water to come on only when required rather than all the time
- Is your water too hot? Your cylinder thermostat should be set at 60°C/140°F