With a few notable exceptions, such as new US president Donald Trump and our own Nigel Lawson, the scientific consensus on climate change is well established. As far back as 2004, 75% of US scientific papers accepted the premise of human modification of the climate. Today, as the evidence and scientific literature has grown this figure has risen to 97% or more.
The most recent provisional information from both the Met Office and NASA suggests that 2016 was the warmest year ever recorded globally, backing up a prediction that the UN’s WMO (World Meteorological Organisation) made in November last year.
Without getting into a detailed discussion on national and global environment policies, it seems fairly clear that in order to avoid the very worst effects of climate change, we will need to use every available tool to decarbonise as many aspects of society as possible, from energy generation and transport, through to food production and waste disposal.