Global warming and climate change | wwf
Antarctic ice melting 
	© Kate & Greg Bourne / WWF-Aus

Climate change

Pollution leading to global warming, climate change and the acidification of our oceans affects every aspect of conservation. That’s why WWF is taking urgent positive action.

WWF has a vision where our homes, businesses, industries and modes of transport are powered by cheap clean energy, where we use energy smarter, our standard of living has improved, we live healthier lives and our unique environmental icons – like the Great Barrier Reef, marine turtles and polar bears - are thriving.

With your help, we can achieve this future.

The world’s temperature is rising, but we have the solutions

Today, because of greenhouse gas pollution, the planet is heating up at a much faster rate than ever before and our oceans are becoming more acidic. Temperature rises can appear small, but small increases translate into big changes for the world’s climate and natural environment.

Hotter days, more severe storms, floods, snowfalls, droughts, fire and higher sea levels are expected in the foreseeable future. These changes threaten jobs, agricultural production, water supplies, industries, human lives and, ultimately, the survival of species and entire ecosystems. Scientists predict that a global temperature rise of close to 2°C (above pre-industrial levels) could result in 25% of the Earth’s animals and plants disappearing because they can’t adapt fast enough.

In less than 100 years, average temperatures on Earth have already warmed by 0.74°C1, and by around 1°C in Australia2. The ten warmest years on record have all occurred since 19983.

Scientists attribute recent temperature rises and ocean acidification to human activities like burning coal and oil, and clearing forests. These activities lead to greenhouse gases being released in to the atmosphere at such levels that they exceed natural concentrations and become pollutants.

We humans are causing the pollution. But we also have the solutions to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and bring a halt to dangerous warming.

Based on scientific advice, WWF aims to limit global warming to 1.5° to avoid the worst social, economic, health and environmental impacts.

Australia’s pollution

Australia is an exceptionally large polluter. We are the highest per person greenhouse gas polluter among all developed countries4, the 15th highest overall polluter and our emissions are still rising5.

Australia has access to abundant solar, wind, geothermal and wave energy. We have the resources, skills and knowledge to shift to a clean economy that produces less pollution, more jobs, healthy children and a safer planet for our wildlife.

Click here to understand how Australia can contribute to a climate change solution.