Rising sea level is one threat driven by global warming that is already affecting all coastal countries. Other impacts of global warming will also affect us, not least because the UK’s society and economy is increasingly inter-connected with those of other countries.

The 17th century philosopher John Donne wrote that ‘No man is an island’ meaning that we cannot ignore what is happening to other people because in the end what happens to them will affect us. The same is true of global warming. Just because some climate models suggest that temperature rises in the British Isles may be less than in some other parts of the world at the end of the 21st century this is no reason to suppose that we can ignore what is happening elsewhere. For example, we cannot ignore the effect of global warming on rising sea levels which will affect people living on low-lying coasts whether in Bangladesh, the Nile Delta, London or Portsmouth. Or, if desertification of North Africa and southern Europe causes large numbers of people to migrate northwards, and if indeed climate change in the British Isles is relatively benign, how are we to repel waves of these unfortunate people migrating in search of a better life? Also, we depend on other countries for many basic items for everyday living, including food. If those countries are affected, we will inevitably be affected by shortages and price rises. Global warming is a global problem that people everywhere must address.