Climate change mitigation

What is climate change mitigation?

Mitigation describes efforts to reduce or remove emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) which are causing our planet to warm.

If we significantly reduce or stop greenhouse gas emissions, can we halt climate change?

Our climate is already changing due to anthropogenic – human-induced – climate change. Even if all emissions stopped today, we cannot avoid further impacts. By reducing emissions, however, we can limit global warming and avoid the worst potential impacts of climate change.

Adaptation is also critical to minimise the impact of climate change on our lives now and in the future. Find out more about this here.

What is meant by ‘net zero’?

If an entity (e.g. a business or country) is net zero, any greenhouse gas emissions they are responsible for are cancelled out by their removal from the atmosphere. You can find out more about net zero, carbon budgets (how much carbon can still be emitted before we reach certain levels of warming) and carbon sinks (something which absorbs carbon from the atmosphere) here. You can find out about the Met Office’s journey to net zero here.

What can I, my community or business do to mitigate against climate change?

Everyone can play their part in reducing greenhouse emissions for example by considering transport choices. Keep an eye on the Get ClimateReady webpages for a range of suggestions from our expert partners which will be added to over time.

What about carbon offsetting?

Although any offset is not as desirable as completely removing the emissions in the first place, some emissions may be unavoidable. A number of robust, independently verified carbon offsetting schemes are available.