Global warming—a gradual rising of the earth’s temperature caused by increasing amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere—is already transforming our planet. In 2012, the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases had increased by 50 percent over 1990 levels.1 The failure to address climate change will cause a continued rise in temperature with devastating effects, including the loss of crops, reduced availability of water and catastrophic storms.2
While poor and vulnerable people in developing countries have contributed the least to the problem, they’re hit the hardest. It’s essential that wealthier nations help people in the developing world adapt. A leader in climate change adaptation, CRS is providing small farmers and poor communities with strategic ways to deal with climate change. We also have an opportunity to urge policy and decision-makers to institute policies that reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. We can work together to achieve a just and sustainable future for all people, and for our entire planet.
1Quirin Schiermeier, “The Kyoto Protocol: Hot Air,” Nature 491, no. 7426 (2012), 656.
2 IPCC, Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report; Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Geneva: IPCC, 2014), 6–19.