English for environmental awareness (B1-B2)




Green English: Making a difference for Climate Change

Become a good steward of the environment. Learn how individual choices can have an impact.

Improve your English while understanding how to deal with the problems and solutions associated with climate change.

Bandipur National Park Fire, India, 2019 (NaveenNkadalaveni, CCA 4.0)

Here, in a series of informative articles on climate change problems and solutions, you will have an opportunity to strengthen your reading, listening and comprehension skills in English. Each module will have a section on new vocabulary; key phrases, audio and video; and a quiz to check comprehension.

Learn more about the risks and opportunities we face in this critical ecological tipping point between 2020 and 2050.

  • the historic event on December 12, 2015 when the 195 nations adopted the Paris Agreement bringing together almost all nations into a common cause.  The agreement encompasses ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects while providing enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so.
  • Under the Paris Agreement, nations commit to collectively limit warming to ‘well under 2 degrees Celsius and ideally no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius  through national emissions reduction efforts (Iran and Turkey have not ratified the Agreement and the United States has indicated its intention to withdraw).
  • the engagement of millions of young people around the world who have been inspired by the Swedish teenager, Greta Thunberg, who in the summer of 2018 started her solitary protest in front of the Swedish parliament by holding up a sign reading ‘School strike for climate.’
Greta Thunburg, Stockholm, August 2018 (Anders Hellberg, CCA 4.0)

Envisaging a 2050 scenario if climate change measures have not been implemented.

  • Recognizing the impact of a 2050 scenario with permanent damage to our planet if we are not successful in stopping to emit more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than Earth can naturally absorb through its ecosystems (net-zero emissions or carbon neutrality).
  • Understanding the change associated with the quality of life on the planet when there is an increase in the frequency, scale and location of natural disasters such as superstorms, cyclones, wildfires, droughts and floods.
Flooding in the U.S. Midwest (Don Becker, USGS, Wikimedia CCA 1.0)
  • A lack of political will and failure to embrace the common good over short-term national self-interests resulting in:
    – Massive population displacements from ecological disasters
    – A precipitous loss in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet causing rising sea levels to turn coastal cities into a modern-day Atlantis
    – Increased political tensions from nations securing their borders and rejecting climate change refugees
    – Whole regions becoming increasingly arid as fertile land changes into deserts
    – The disappearance of the Amazon rainforest from uncontrolled logging leaving only a grassy savannah
    – Prolonged heat waves making life unbearable for longer periods each year.
    – Increasing portions of the population suffering from respiratory problems.
    – The loss in biodiversity including the extinction of thousands of species
    – The threat to the fishing industry as the water becomes more acidic from oceans absorbing carbon dioxide.

Changing a 2050 scenario that will protect the planet for our children and grandchildren.

People’s climate march, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (DCpeopleandeventsof2017, CCA 4.0)
  • Choosing a future in 2050 where we have been successful in halving emissions every decade since 2020 and where the world will be no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer by 2100.
  • Using existing knowledge and technology to protect the planet for the current and future generations through:
    – Increased proliferation of tree-planting campaigns so that trees can take carbon dioxide out of the air.
    – Conversion of rooftops and balconies into gardens and covering windowless buildings with vines
    – Reducing the number of cars and flights while embracing public transport and  high speed rail travel
    – Harnessing the power of renewable sources of energy (solar, wind, hydro, geothermal) and reducing fossil fuels
    – Increased use of smart technology so that energy consumption is reduced by switching off appliances when not in use.
Bosco Verticale, Milan, Italy (Plflcn, 4.0)