Climate change is an important topic because it is discussed widely in society and on the news. Questions about climate change and its impacts are common on the IELTS exam so you must be well-versed with the correct terminology to discuss it. This page contains some essential words and phrases related to climate change, and there are some activities for you to IELTS practice using the words in context.
Table of Contents
1. General Climate Change Vocabulary
- Chemical/Natural fertiliser – A substance containing chemicals designed to increase the amount of crops/ A natural substance used to increase the amount of crops
- CO2/Carbon dioxide – A gas that is produced when carbon is burnt and absorbed by plants
- Contaminate – Make something impure by adding additional substances/pollutants
- Crops – A plant that is grown as food
- Deforestation – The cutting down of trees from forests.
- Ecosystems – A community of organisms and their relationship to the environment
- Fossil fuels – A natural fuel that is formed from dead organisms. For example, oil, gas, and coal
- Global warming – The gradual rise in the earth’s temperature
- Grazing – The land where farm animals eat grass and plants
- Groundwater – Water that is held underground in soil
- Land degradation – The reduction of biological productivity of the soil
- Landslides – The rapid downward movement of rocks and earth, often after heavy rain
- Organic – Produced without the use of chemicals
- Sustainable – Able to be performed at a level that does not cause damage
- Water bodies – Any geographical feature containing water. For example, rivers, lakes, ponds etc…
2. General Climate Change Vocabulary Activity
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Is the environment a big concern in your country?
For some people the environment is a concern, however, farming companies are committing deforestation on a massive scale to free up space for grazing land and for growing crops. Also, we have a major problem with the industrial sector contaminating our water bodies. It is so bad that we do not have any clean rivers or lakes left anymore and the ecosystems in those areas have been changed forever. Recently some people have started to buy more organic produce in the supermarkets, which only uses natural fertilisers, but that type of product is still in its infancy here.
3. Climate Change Idioms, Phrasal Verbs, and Collocations
Using idioms, phrasal verbs, and collocations correctly will make your answers sound completer and more advanced. Here are some common words and phrases used to talk about climate change. There is an activity for you to practice using the words in context.
- A drop in the ocean – An amount so small that it does not help the overall problem
- Carbon footprint – The amount of carbon dioxide emitted by a person or group’s activities
- Cool down – To reduce in temperature
- Cut down on – To lower the consumption of something or reduce the practice of something
- Die out – To become extinct or not in use
- Electric vehicles – Vehicles that use batteries and not fossil fuels
- Environmentally conscious – A person who considers how their actions impact the environment
- Food miles – How far food travels from where it is produced to where it is consumed
- Get out of hand – To become out of control
- Greenwashing – To mislead people into thinking something is more environmentally friendly than it actually is.
- Harmful gases – Gases that cause environmental damage
- Heat up – To become hotter in temperature
- Hybrid vehicles – Vehicles that use a combination of battery and fossil fuels
- Phase-out – To slowly reduce the use of something
- Raise livestock – To keep and take care of animals to produce meat, eggs, milk etc…
- Run out of something – To not have any more available
- Scale down – Reduce the use or practice or something
- See with your own eyes – To see something in person rather than hearing about it from someone else
- Wipe out – To eliminate something or make extinct
4. Climate Change Idioms, Phrasal Verbs, and Collocations Activity
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What do you think can be done to combat climate change?
I think that one of the first things we can do to deal with the heating up of the world is to slowly phase out vehicles that use fossil fuels, until everyone is using either hybrid or electric vehicles. Also, aside from transport, one of the main contributors of harmful gases is the agricultural sector. Raising livestock uses a huge amount of water and leads to trees being cut down. I think we should reduce the amount of meat we consume, which would reduce the food miles travelled by our products and in turn reduce our personal carbon footprint.
For more practice, Visit IELTS vocabulary for Government.