What is Climate Change?
The overwhelming consensus from scientists around the world is that climate change is a reality. Greenhouse gases from human activities are trapping more of the sun’s heat in the earth’s atmosphere and warming the earth. Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), the principal greenhouse gas tied to human activity, are at an 800,000 year high due in large part to the burning of fossil fuels. Over the last century, average global temperatures rose by more than 1°F, and some regions warmed by as much as 4°F, with predictions for continued temperature increases in the coming years.
How Does Climate Change Affect Us?
In addition to causing an increase in average temperatures around the world, rising levels of greenhouse gases can also disrupt agricultural systems, water supplies, and displace populations due to rising sea levels. The local effects of climate change include: greater temperature increases than ever before; more wildfires; reduced water supply due to reduced snow pack; increased flooding from extreme weather and sea level rise; species migration , endangerment, habitat loss, and extinction; increased insect infestations; and greater irrigation demand.
Union City’s Climate Action Plan
Union City’s Climate Action Plan directly addresses how the City will proactively address climate change. These measures all directly or indirectly involve decreasing the GHG emissions produced by City government, residents, and businesses, and preparing for the effects of climate change in the future. Aside from climate change, most actions outlined in the Climate Action Plan are simply good business decisions. Reducing emissions in Union City means better air quality, making the city a better place to live and work. Using less water and energy means reduced costs, whether it’s natural gas to heat water, petroleum to fuel a car or bus, electricity to light a storefront, or water to keep landscaping alive. Recycling can turn waste into raw materials that can be used to create new products. Compost can turn green waste into garden fertilizer.
Save Green by Going Green
The Union City Chamber of Commerce runs the “Save Green by Going Green” program, a collaboration among local businesses, City government, economic development professionals, the Tri-City area communities, and organizations that serve Alameda County. Check out their website for more information and resources to green your business.
What Can You Do?
Reduce your emissions by trying out the tips listed in other sections of this website.
- Use less water and energy
- Buy sustainably-produced supplies
- Reduce, reuse, and recycle
Want to learn more about climate change? Check out these websites for more information.