Climate Change Explainers is a series of Insights by the Commons Library about climate change. It provides impartial analysis and explanation on a range of topics, including the basic science, the role of MPs in driving policy change, and UK and global emission trends. Insights in the series also explore the rise of climate activism and possible solutions within nature and technology.

Understanding climate change fundamentals

From the basic concepts to the global temperature trends, these Insights explain the scientific fundamentals and statistics of climate change. Researchers also provide context with insight into the history of climate change negotiations and agreements.

The scientific basics of climate change

An overview of the basic concepts underlying greenhouse gas emissions, global warming and climate change, with references to further information and underlying research.

UK and global emissions and temperature trends

Historic trends show a sustained rise in global temperatures in the last half century. This Insight explains the trends in temperatures and emissions.

The history of global climate change negotiations

An introduction to the history of climate change as an intergovernmental political issue, with the key international treaties reached along the way.


Understanding climate change policy

The broader picture of some of the drivers behind UK climate change policy is explored in these Insights. Researchers also explore the rise of climate change activism and how policy change is driven and scrutinised.

MPs and climate change: How does policy change happen?

The role of MPs in driving and scrutinising policy change, and how the landmark Climate Change Act 2008 came into force are explored in this Insight.

The rise of climate change activism?

An examination of the changes in public attitudes towards climate change and whether climate change activism is also changing.

EU policy and action on climate change

An overview of the EU’s approach to climate change, including its global commitments, possible future direction, and the status of the UK-EU future relationship negotiations in these areas.

How is the UK adapting to climate change? Spotlight on health

In the UK, health has been identified as one of the six priority areas in need of climate change adaptation policies.


Addressing climate change

These Insights explain the role of nature and technology in addressing climate change and reducing green house emissions. Researchers also explore the progress of decarbonising different UK sectors and the future of Green Finance.

Mitigating climate change: Electricity and beyond

The progress made in decarbonising the electricity sector and the shifting focus to mitigation in other sectors, where progress has been more limited.

Climate change solutions: the role of nature 

An explanation of what is meant by nature-based solutions in the context of climate change, and the ongoing efforts to integrate them into climate change policies.

Climate change solutions: The role of technology

Outlining key discussions around the role of technology in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and how innovation is supported in the UK.

Green finance: Mobilising investment for green growth 

The key terms and policies in green finance and the three objectives of the Government’s 2019 Green Finance Strategy.