Overheard picture of factory with smoke emitting from smoke stacks.

Climate Action

What is Climate Action?

Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives, costing people, communities and countries dearly today and even more tomorrow. Weather patterns are changing, sea levels are rising, weather events are becoming more extreme and greenhouse gas emissions are now at their highest levels in history. Without action, the world’s average surface temperature is likely to surpass 3 degrees centigrade this century. The poorest and most vulnerable people are being affected the most.

Affordable, scalable solutions are now available to enable countries to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies. The pace of change is quickening as more people are turning to renewable energy and a range of other measures that will reduce emissions and increase adaptation efforts. Climate change, however, is a global challenge that does not respect national borders. It is an issue that requires solutions that need to be coordinated at the international level to help developing countries move toward a low-carbon economy.

To strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, countries adopted the Paris Agreement at the COP21 in Paris, which went into force in November of 2016. In the agreement, all countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees centigrade. As of April 2018, 175 parties had ratified the Paris Agreement and 10 developing countries had submitted their first iteration of their national adaptation plans for responding to climate change.

Photo of belltower atop College Hall.

Why it Matters

As greenhouse gas levels continue to climb, climate change is occurring at much higher rates than anticipated, and its effects are evident worldwide. By addressing climate change, we can build a sustainable world for everyone. But we need to act now.

  • Severe weather and rising sea levels are affecting people and their property in developed and developing countries. From a small farmer in the Philippines to a businessman in London, climate change is affecting everyone, especially the poor and vulnerable, as well as marginalized groups like women, children, and the elderly.
  • If left unchecked, climate change will cause average global temperatures to increase beyond 3°C, and will adversely affect every ecosystem. Already, we are seeing how climate change can exacerbate storms and disasters, and threats such as food and water scarcity, which can lead to conflict.
Photograph of men and women sitting outside in grass.

How We Address Climate Action

In 2019, Associate Professor Rachel Lyons conducted an ethnography that explored an urban community’s perception of a ‘green space’.

Her study concluded that, as nurses, we must recognize that a change in climate includes a community’s environment which can have a major impact on health and well- being. In addition, identifying causal pathways is essential to mitigate potential health morbidities and the consequences of. Future nursing research should continue to explore these pathways.

Read Dr. Lyons’ full study here.

News, Announcements & Resources

More News Articles