Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), are increasing in the atmosphere and this is changing the Earth’s climate. The main cause for the increase is the burning of fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas) and the cutting down of trees that convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. If this continues, it is predicted that:
- ice sheets and glaciers will melt and cause sea levels to rise and threaten low-lying areas of land in the Pacific and Indian Oceans
- storms and cyclones will increase in number and intensity
- biodiversity will be lost in places like Kakadu and the Great Barrier Reef
- access to food and water will be reduced — especially in poorer countries
- war and conflict will increase as people compete for resources.
A global citizenship response
Australians help to support World Vision’s projects that promote sustainable practices and care for the environment in developing countries. These include:
1. Planting forest trees and fruit trees in Mongolia.
2. Training communities in sustainable farming techniques in Zambia. Improved soil quality increases crop yields so families have enough to eat.
3. Training in alternative farming options and introducing drought tolerant crops in Ethiopia to reduce dependence on rainfall.
4. Re-vegetation in Ethiopia to restore farmlands and regenerate forests.
5. Creating clean and sustainable fuel options in Tanzania, like energy-saving cooking stoves and solar cookers.