BUILDING AND TECHNOLOGY

IMPROVING URBAN RESIDENTS AWARENESS OF THE IMPACT OF HOUSEHOLD ACTIVITIES ON CLIMATE CHANGE

IMPROVING URBAN RESIDENTS AWARENESS OF THE IMPACT OF HOUSEHOLD ACTIVITIES ON CLIMATE CHANGE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 1.1   Background of the Study

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007a), climate change is defined as a statistically significant variation in either the mean state of the climate or in the variability of the mean state of climate, occurring for a long period (decades or longer). On the other hand, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, 1992), defined climate change as a change of climate that is caused either directly or indirectly by the human activities, which changes the constituent of the atmosphere, coupled with the natural climate variability observed over longer period. Climate change is caused by greenhouse gasses (GHGs) such as carbon (iv) oxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). These gasses allow solar radiation from the sun to pass through the atmosphere but do not allow the reflected heat from going back into space which leads to the rise of earth’s temperature (UNFCCC, 2007). With respect to the current trends, the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its global energy forecast, estimate a 53% rise in global basic energy need by the year 2030, with 70% of the energy coming from developing countries. However, as emerging countries, such as China and India grow, their role for energy need will account for an upward proportion of the total. Fossil fuels will certainly to take highest percentage of this increase, and the resultant GHGs released will in turn cause rising temperatures. However, since 1900 our globe has become warmer by 0.7oC and will keep on rising at a predicted rate of 0.2oC per decade. However, if it is not brought under control, it leads to a global warming of at least 1.4oC (IPCC, 2001a; Nkemdirim 2003).