Climate change is a global challenge. Greenhouse gas emissions occur in every country, every day, all year long. Climate change is caused by total amount of GHGs in the atmosphere, built up over time. Some countries, some activities, and some individuals are responsible for more emissions than others. But we will all feel the impacts of climate change in our communities.
Animal Habitats Have Been Affected
Humans, animals and plants have adapted to live in most areas of the planet. Over thousands of years plants and animals have evolved to the climates in regions where they are found. Global temperatures are now changing faster than humans, animals and plants can keep up. As temperatures rise, landscapes and habitats will change, and these changes are irreversible.
Droughts, Wildfires and Coastal Flooding
In different areas, the effects of climate change will be different. Some areas will become hotter and drier over time, leading to freshwater shortages and increased risk of wildfires. Other areas will become warmer and wetter, leading to changes in growing patterns for plants and flood risks. People living in low-laying areas, close to the oceans, or close to forests are at greater risks for climate change impacts. These climate changes will also affect people's health, livelihoods and well-being.
Equity is an important concern for climate action. When planning to reduce emissions and prepare for climate impacts, we need to take into account who is responsible for emissions and who is most at risk for climate impacts. Raleigh’s Community Climate Action Plan has a specific focus on equity.