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time to act amid climate wake-up call

On Monday 9th August the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its strongest warning yet: temperatures are set to rise by more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels within the next two decades. While this number may sound low, the implications are catastrophic: extreme weather, the potential collapse of the ecosystem, and a huge reduction in freshwater.

The report – which is the culmination of eight years of research – has been branded as a “code red” for humanity by the UN’s Secretary-General, António Guterres. “The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk,” he said in a statement.

According to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the earth’s average global temperature has risen by a little more than 1C since 1880. You don’t have to look far to see the impact of this increase. From the forest fires of Greece to the flooding in China’s central Henan province, the general consensus within the scientific community is that humanity is to blame for these extreme weather events. The IPCC has gone even further by stating that human activity was “unequivocally” the cause of changes including rising sea levels, melting polar ice and glaciers, heatwaves, floods, and droughts.

existential crisis

This is, without a doubt, an existential crisis for our planet and one that MT Finance is determined to help tackle. In June 2021 we announced the introduction of our Energy Performance Certificate incentive which awards borrowers £250 credit if they achieve an energy performance rating of A or B at any time during the term of their loan. The UN has made it abundantly clear that greenhouse gases need to be reduced significantly to prevent further climate breakdown which makes schemes like this even more important.

There are other benefits of making your property more energy-efficient, including reduced running costs and potentially commanding a higher price when you come to sell. While it may sound like a daunting task, it can easily be achieved.

what you can do

Turning down your thermostat is a great starting point. In 2012 the UK government’s Department of Energy & Climate Change published a paper that revealed that decreasing your thermostat from 20C to 18C was the top-recommended energy-saving behavior. Washing your clothes at 30C instead of 40C, not leaving appliances on standby, and avoiding wasting water will all make a positive impact.

Bigger changes include fitting loft installation, installing an A-rated boiler, and opting for solar energy. While these changes may require a significant outlay at the beginning, they are sure to pay off in the long run as your property becomes more energy-efficient and cheaper to run.

time to act

While the warnings issued by the IPCC have been delivered in the strongest terms possible, all is not lost. It has made it clear that while some changes are irreversible, a catastrophe can be avoided if action is taken quickly. This sentiment was reinforced by Guterres. “If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe. But, as today’s report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses. I count on government leaders and all stakeholders to ensure COP26 is a success.”

Reactions from heads of state, business leaders, and campaign groups were swift and unequivocal: action needs to be taken, and now. “The science is crystal clear, but the response is not,” stated Wai-Shin Chan, Global Head of Environmental, Social and Governance Research at HSBC. “Investors must use their influence to push decision-makers to make the bold emission reductions required to limit the most severe consequences of climate change.”

For more information on our Energy Performance Certificate incentive, or if you are an existing borrower and wish to apply for the £250 credit scheme, simply email the team at EPC@mt-finance.com or call 02030512331.

To learn more about our efforts in tackling climate change, click here.

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