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Improving our environment

There have been many examples of the effects of climate change discussed in both the specialist and popular media over the past decade.

Reducing the use of energy and therefore our carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is one way to help reduce the contribution this 'greenhouse gas' has on global warming. The other factor driving the need to reduce energy onsumption is the unpredictable costs of fossil fuels in these uncertain economic times.

By reducing energy consumption we are reducing the impact we have on the climate and at the same time also improving our efficiency and therefore reducing our annual running costs. In response to the impact of CO2 emissions on the environment and the prospect of dwindling fossil fuel reserves, the UK government has set target deadlines to reduce CO2 emissions.

The Government's current target is a 34% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020 and an 80% reduction by 2050 14. However, ensuring appropriate environmental conditions to display Old Master paintings 15 can require the use of significant amounts of energy. For the National Gallery the challenge has been to achieve substantial reductions in our energy use, while maintaining, or improving, our environmental conditions for the preservation of the collection.

Further sections

14. ‘Climate Change Act 2008’, accessed on 19 February 2013. [External link]

15. ‘Paintings and their Environment’, accessed on 19 February 2013.*/viewPage/3