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The Science of Climate Change

Climate change is no longer a distant threat or just a possibility, it is now a reality for all of us. In this pathway, Kevin Trenberth, a renowned climatologist, delves into the science behind climate change. He first introduces the climate system, its main components and forces.

Tackling the Plastic Crisis

Plastic pollution is by far the biggest threat to our oceans and this remains an incredibly tough problem to solve. Plastic credits could potentially serve as one of the much needed solutions for this crisis.

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The Scale of the Net Zero Challenge

The price of meeting net zero is estimated to be between $100-150 trillion over the next 30 years. Regardless of this cost, we need to reach net zero before climate change does irreversible damage to the environment and the economy.

ESG, Sustainability and Impact Jargon Buster

ESG, sustainability, impact… they all just mean green, right? Not quite. Despite being used often interchangeably, there are distinct differences between these terms.

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Featured Pathways

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The Science of Climate Change

Climate change is no longer a distant threat or just a possibility, it is now a reality for all of us. In this pathway, Kevin Trenberth, a renowned climatologist, delves into the science behind climate change. He first introduces the climate system, its main components and forces.

Tackling the Plastic Crisis

Plastic pollution is by far the biggest threat to our oceans and this remains an incredibly tough problem to solve. Plastic credits could potentially serve as one of the much needed solutions for this crisis.

More pathways

Book a demo

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Plans & Membership

Our Platform

Expert led content

+1,000 expert presented, on-demand video modules

Learning analytics

Keep track of learning progress with our comprehensive data

Interactive learning

Engage with our video hotspots and knowledge check-ins

Testing & certification

Gain CPD / CPE credits and professional certification

Managed learning

Build, scale and manage your organisation’s learning

Integrations

Connect Sustainability Unlocked to your current platform

Featured Content

More featured content

The Scale of the Net Zero Challenge

The price of meeting net zero is estimated to be between $100-150 trillion over the next 30 years. Regardless of this cost, we need to reach net zero before climate change does irreversible damage to the environment and the economy.

ESG, Sustainability and Impact Jargon Buster

ESG, sustainability, impact… they all just mean green, right? Not quite. Despite being used often interchangeably, there are distinct differences between these terms.

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Global Carbon Budget and Net Zero (Danske)

Global Carbon Budget and Net Zero (Danske)

Liz Bentley

25 years: Meteorologist

What do countries and organisations base their targets and pledges on? Join Liz Bentley as she uncovers the global carbon budget, net zero and nationally determined contributions.

What do countries and organisations base their targets and pledges on? Join Liz Bentley as she uncovers the global carbon budget, net zero and nationally determined contributions.

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Global Carbon Budget and Net Zero (Danske)

11 mins 57 secs

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand the carbon budget

  • Define net zero

  • Understand requirements of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

  • Outline global climate pledges

Overview:

The global carbon budget is a simplified way to measure the maximum greenhouse gas emissions that can still enter the atmosphere if the world wants to limit global warming to a certain target. The carbon budget is based on the fact that the amount of global warming that will occur can be approximated by the cumulative carbon dioxide emissions. It is important to measure this to set targets for net zero. Net zero refers to the state of achieving a balance between the amount of greenhouse gas we emit and the amount removed from the atmosphere.

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Summary
What is the carbon budget? 
The global carbon budget is a simplified way to measure the maximum greenhouse gas emissions that can still enter the atmosphere if the world wants to limit global warming to a certain target. The carbon budget is based on the fact that the amount of global warming that will occur can be approximated by the cumulative carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon budgets mask a lot of the complexity because the world has already warmed by approximately 1.2°C and the remaining carbon budget is small. Between 1850-2019 we have already emitted 2390 GtCO2 of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We had approximately 360 GtCO2 left as of 2020.

What is net zero? 
Net zero refers to the state of achieving a balance between the amount of greenhouse gas we emit and the amount removed from the atmosphere. 

What are Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)? 
Nationally Determined Contributions are the pledges made by countries under the UNFCCC to mitigate their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Each country is required to submit an NDC that outlines its targets, policies, and measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming. NDCs are expected to be updated and submitted every five years, with increasing ambition to reduce emissions over time. NDCs are important tools to facilitate global co-operation on climate change as they provide a framework for countries to take collective action. 

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Liz Bentley

Liz Bentley

Professor Liz Bentley is the Chief Executive of the Royal Meteorological Society, a not-for-profit organisation based in the UK. Her career in meteorology spans over 30 years and she has worked at the Met Office, BBC, and in Government. She is a regular contributor to the major broadcasters, delivering over 200 media interviews each year.

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