We need behaviour change to beat climate crisis, says Patrick Vallance

The UK's chief scientist adviser said that the country needs to do more to adapt to climate change, speaking at the COP26 summit.
According to the UK's chief scientific advisor, people are not doing enough to make changes to their behavior to combat climate change. He says that he has made some changes, including eating less meat and riding more.

Patrick Vallance said that "It's beginning" at the COP26 summit. "Is it there yet?" It is not. There's still a lot to do. There is a willingness to engage and an engagement taking place."

Vallance's remarks contrast with the UK government's approach to the matter. Ministers and officials in the UK have emphasized technology change (such as switching petrol cars for electric vehicles) rather than behaviour changes such as changing diets or flying less. However, the UK's statutory climate advisors think that much of the necessary action to achieve net-zero emissions will require behaviour changes.

British astronaut Tim Peake spoke out to New Scientist at the COP26 about lifestyle changes. It will be hard for everyone. He says that everyone will have to make changes. Peake claims that he has recently insulated his loft. These are small steps that everyone can take. Many small steps can make a big difference.


When asked if the UK government is doing enough for people to make lifestyle changes, he replied that it was. The green choice must be the obvious choice because many people are struggling right now, and inflation is increasing.

"We need to be mindful of people's finances at this point, so we encourage them to use public transportation not only because it's cleaner and greener but also because it's cheaper than driving.

Vallance said he was hopeful for serious climate action. There is a lot to be hopeful about. He says that the technologies we require are either in development or already available. "The second reason to be hopeful is that we have a whole generation who's determined to make this happen. All over the world, behaviour change is already taking place.

Vallance comments on progress at COP26 where governments are in the final game to reach a final statement this week in Glasgow. He says net-zero commitments and commitments regarding deforestation are important steps. Vallance warns that it is difficult to achieve the world's goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. 1.5degC is really difficult. This is not an easy target.

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