Live updates

People 'ill-prepared' to cope with risk of climate change

A swirling Eastern Pacific Ocean storm system headed for California is seen in an image from NOAA's GOES-West satellite. Credit: Reuters

Experts have warned that in many cases, people are ill prepared to cope with the risks of a changing climate.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report says the world has seen changes in recent decades to water resources as a result of melting glaciers and differences in rainfall, and reductions in wheat and maize yields.

There has been a decrease in the number of people dying from the cold but an increase in heat-related deaths in some areas, such as England and Wales, the report suggested.

Species including fish stocks are shifting their ranges, coral reefs are being damaged and wildfires are becoming more frequent.

The report on the impacts of climate change said rising temperatures are expected to lead to increased risk of flooding, more droughts and heatwaves, drive species extinct and cause forests to die in many regions of the world.

More: Climate Change impact 'being felt'

Climate Change impact 'being felt'

Smoke rises from chimneys of a steel plant next to a viaduct on a hazy day in Tangshan, Hebei province, China. Credit: Reuters

Climate change is already having an impact across the world in areas ranging from human health to agriculture and wildlife, a major international report has found.

Rising temperatures will increasingly threaten security, health and food supplies, and exacerbate poverty and damage species and habitats, the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned.

The world is in "an era of man-made climate change" and has already seen impacts of global warming on every continent and across the oceans.

Read: Davey: Britain must spearhead the climate change fight

Advertisement

Davey declares Britain must lead climate change fight

On the eve of a ground-breaking UN report into the impacts of climate change, Energy Secretary Ed Davey has declared Britain must spearhead the worldwide battle against global warming.

Climate change is "hugely threatening our way of life, in the UK, Europe and the world," Mr Davey told The Observer.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey made the declaration ahead of the UN climate change report's release. Credit: ITV News

"Not to lead is deeply irresponsible. If you don't lead, you will not bring others with you," the Lib Dem MP said.

His comments come as the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change prepares to release a report that is expected to warn of catastrophic consequences to food supplies, livelihoods, health and security across the world if climate change remains unchecked.

Ex-Archbishop: Western lifestyles 'cause climate change'

The former Archbishop of Canterbury has attacked Western lifestyles for causing climate change that is "pushing the environment towards crisis".

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Dr Rowan Williams said: "Rich, industrialised countries, including our own, have unquestionably contributed most to atmospheric pollution.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams Credit: PA

"Both our present lifestyle and the industrial history of how we created such possibilities for ourselves have to bear the responsibility for pushing the environment in which we live towards crisis.”

On Monday, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is due to publish its latest study on the consequences of the predicted rise in global temperatures.

Lights out at 8:30pm across the world for Earth Hour

Thousands of people around the world will switch off their lights for one hour between 8.30pm to 9.30pm local time as part of a global effort to shine a spotlight on climate change in the 2014 edition of Earth Hour.

Elizabeth Tower, which houses Big Ben in London, in darkness as the lights were turned off to mark WWF's Earth Hour 2013 Credit: PA

This symbolic global initiative organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then it has grown to engage over 150 countries and hundreds of millions of people.

The date traditionally coincides with the Spring and Autumn equinoxes in the northern and southern hemispheres respectively, which allows for near coincidental sunset times in both hemispheres, thereby ensuring the greatest visual impact for a global “lights out” event.

Read: Cities around the world switch off for Earth Hour

Advertisement

Hammond: 'Climate change clearly a factor in weather'

Conservative Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:

Climate change is clearly happening, it is clearly a factor in the weather patterns that we are seeing.

That's why we are investing significant amounts of money in increasing our flood resilience in the UK.

Of course these floods are a terrible tragedy for all the people affected, but we shouldn't forget that hundreds of thousands of properties have been protected from flooding by the investment we've made over recent years.

Miliband: Climate change cross-party consensus needed

Mr Miliband said: "The science is clear. The public know there is a problem. But, because of political division in Westminster, we are sleepwalking into a national security crisis on climate change. The terrible events of the last few weeks should serve as a wake-up call for us all."

Labour leader Ed Miliband has called for the cross-party consensus on climate change to be rebuilt.

Labour leader Ed Miliband. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Labour leader said he had "genuinely believed" that Mr Cameron was sincere about his passion for green issues while in Opposition, but sacking Charles Hendry as energy minister and appointment of Owen Paterson - viewed as a climate change sceptic - as Environment Secretary suggested otherwise.

Read: Miliband - UK 'sleepwalking into a national security crisis'

Miliband says the 'dice are loaded' over climate change

Labour leader Ed Miliband has referred to 2012 as the second wettest winter on record and this winter as a one in 250-year event in explaining his position on climate change.

In an interview with The Observer, Mr Miliband said: "If you keep throwing the dice and you keep getting sixes then the dice are loaded. Something is going on..."

We have always warned that climate change threatens national security because of the consequences for destabilisation of entire regions of the world, mass migration of millions of people and conflict over water or food supplies.

But the events of the last few weeks have shown this is a national security issue in our own country too with people's homes, businesses and livelihoods coming under attack from extreme weather. And we know this will happen more in the future.

– Labour leader Ed Miliband

Miliband: UK 'sleepwalking into a national security crisis'

Ed Miliband has attacked the Prime Minister for giving up the fight against climate change, warning that Britain is "sleepwalking into a national security crisis".

Ed Miliband has attacked the PM over climate change. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Labour leader said the winter storms that have been wreaking havoc in the country should serve as a "wake up call".

It was "extraordinary" that the Prime Minister was now portraying climate change merely as "a matter of conscience", when it had been a "core conviction" when he was in Opposition.

Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories