Negative effects of climate change

A stable climate is a vital foundation for all life on Earth — but our climate is now changing dangerously fast, with widespread and harmful effects on people and the wild places we love. Melting ice sheets and glaciers are adding to sea level rise, putting millions at risk. Heatwaves, droughts and fires are becoming more ferocious.

We can't wait any longer. It's time to break our remaining ties to the polluting energy systems responsible for these climate change impacts, and shift to the 100 percent renewable energy future we all want.

Glaciers and polar ice are melting

As the climate warms, glaciers are melting. Yet millions of people depend on the planet's 190,000 glaciers to supply water in dry seasons. Arctic sea ice is melting rapidly, a process that further speeds up climate change. On the West Antarctic Peninsula, massive ice shelves have crumbled into the ocean.

Sea levels are rising, faster

As glaciers and land-based ice sheets melt, they contribute to sea level rise. This increases flood risk for millions of people on coasts, where populations and cities are growing fast.  Sea levels could rise by a meter by the end of this century if we don't reign in emissions. For people of small islands and low-lying coastal areas, sea level rise is already a harsh reality.

Ramped up droughts, floods and other extreme weather

More extreme droughts, tropical cyclones, forest fires, and intense rainfall are projected for our warming climate. Many types of extreme weather are already getting worse. Each day we delay action means more damage to lives, economies and ecosystems.

Climate change ecosystem and extinction threats

From tropical mountain cloud forests to polar pack ice, we must protect the ecosystems that enrich our lives with beauty and adventure. But climate change is already causing widespread harm to polar life, coral reefs and other unique and vulnerable ecosystems. Extinctions will ramp up unless we act.

Air pollution is worse with climate change

Air pollution — already a silent and serious killer — is set to become worse still under climate change. Yet we can fight both air pollution and climate change with the shift to 100 percent renewable energy, a hugely important double win for the health of people and our planet.

What is Greenpeace doing?

Greenpeace is driving the urgent shift away from the polluting, dangerous energy systems. We're working to accelerate the leap to a bright new future built on 100 percent safe, clean energy from the sunwind, water and earth.

We believe it's time to hold big carbon polluters to account. We're also working to stop the flow of money to these dirty and destructive fossil fuel industries. Instead, we want to make the finance industry a lever for positive change.

And because healthy oceans can better fight many impacts of climate change, Greenpeace is calling for a network of ocean sanctuaries in the North Pole and around the globe.

What can you do?

  • Find out what Greenpeace is doing to fight climate change where you live.

  • Join our Save the Arctic movement and help Greenpeace make a stand for Arctic protection.

  • Support Greenpeace's work to create a global network of ocean sanctuaries

  • Climate change is a global problem, but you can still take important steps to tackle it in your daily life. Choose your own solutions to suit your lifestyle and your home.

The latest updates

 

At 8 million strong, the Arctic story is just beginning

Blog entry by Trillia Fidei-Bagwell | 21 June, 2016 3 comments

The movement to save the Arctic has become a great story. It crystallises some of the big challenges of our time into something simple and compelling, a way for millions of people to make sense of the world and work together to improve...

World renowned pianist Ludovico Einaudi plays historic concert on Arctic Ocean

Press release | 20 June, 2016 at 11:30

Amsterdam, 20 June, 2016 - Italian pianist and composer, Ludovico Einaudi, today performed one of his own compositions, Elegy for the Arctic, on a floating platform in the Arctic Ocean, against the backdrop of the Wahlenbergbreen glacier (in...

Don’t look now, but there was just a mass exodus of oil companies from the US Arctic

Blog entry by Jason Schwartz | 11 June, 2016

With the departure of a Spanish oil company from the Chukchi Sea, only Shell still holds a drilling lease in US Arctic waters. Here’s why an Arctic oil boom never happened and why it probably never will. Now that Spanish oil...

How India’s capital switched on the sun

Blog entry by Ruhie Kumar and Madhulika Varma | 10 June, 2016

Today in Delhi we are celebrating something big! Usually in May and June Delhiites complain of scorching heat and how we are cursed with bad weather, water shortages and power blackouts. The same is true for other big crowded metro...

A new chapter for Arctic oil? Not on our watch.

Blog entry by Sophie Allain | 8 June, 2016 1 comment

The 18th May 2016 was just an ordinary Wednesday for most. But for the petroleum industry in the Arctic, it was the "start of a new chapter". If Arctic oil were a fiction novel it would make a particularly dark drama, with no...

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