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What causes climate change?

We promise this won't take long

Climate change or global warming is caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide (C02) and other polluting gases in our atmosphere.

The gases trap heat by forming a blanket around the Earth - like the glass of a greenhouse.

Once released the greenhouse gases stay in the atmosphere for many years. As they build up, the planet's temperature rises.

Greenhouse gases are released by burning fossil fuels - coal, oil and gas - and by cutting down forests.

Nearly all of the CO2 emitted by western industrialised countries come from burning coal, oil and gas for energy.

Globally as well as in the UK, electricity generation is the biggest source of CO2 emissions, amounting to over a third.

But who causes it?

It's simple. We all do. At home, work and play.

>> What can we do about climate change?