Level 1
Unit No:
Guided learning hours:
30 hours

Assessment Guidance

Portfolio of evidence


To develop learners' understanding of climate change and the impact of human behaviour on the environment.

Unit Learning Outcomes


Know how and why the climate is changing.

Difference between climate (long-term) and weather (short-term).

Increased temperature is caused by greenhouse gases.

Weather pattern changes linked to climate change: droughts, floods, extreme heatwaves.

Industrial practices that involve use of fossil fuels:

Industrial practices: burning of fossil fuels; releasing gases used in manufacturing; reliance on products/components involving fossil fuel use.

Assessment Criteria

  • 1.1

    Describe changes in weather patterns linked to climate change. 

  • 1.2

    Outline industrial practices that are contributing to climate change. 


Know about the effects of climate change on plants, animals and people. 

Link between climate change and biodiversity loss:

Land/water temperature too hot to support life for some animals/plants; lack of water for growth/drinking; forest fires/melting ice/rising sea levels destroying habitats.

Effects of climate change on humans: risks to property and life of flood and fire; limited availability of food/water and higher costs; increased risk of some illnesses; some areas may become too hot to be habitable/some low-lying areas will be submerged and people will need to abandon homes and property and migrate.

Assessment Criteria

  • 2.1

    Explain the link between climate change and biodiversity loss. 

  • 2.2

    Describe how different aspects of climate change are affecting humans. 


Know about the carbon footprint. 

Carbon footprint as a measure of amount of carbon released by an individual or business as a result of their normal activities.

Main factors considered in personal carbon footprint calculation: domestic energy use; travel – own vehicles plus flights/use of public transport; food consumption; other retail – goods and services.

Main factors for businesses: direct and indirect emissions from own operations.

A range of free-to-use calculators are available online.

WWF Footprint Calculator 

are both recommended for student use.

Assessment Criteria

  • 3.1

    State what is measured by a carbon footprint. 

  • 3.2

    Outline the factors considered in calculating a carbon footprint. 

  • 3.3

    Present key findings about own impact on the environment from a carbon footprint calculator. 


Know how individuals and businesses can reduce their carbon footprint. 

Specific actions or changes linked to own carbon footprint calculations focused on areas of greatest emission, e.g. in relation to food, retail and travel choices and habits.

Actions for businesses in a sector linked to areas of greatest emission, such as

  • Plumbing firm - switch from diesel-using vans to hybrid/electric
  • Nursery – switch from disposable to washable nappies

Carbon off-setting schemes either directly introducing more oxygen or cutting down the emissions of others, for example: planting trees, distributing efficient cooking stoves in developing countries, and paying for community centres to replace light bulbs with energy efficient versions.

Assessment Criteria

  • 4.1

    Outline different actions or changes to behaviours that would reduce own carbon footprint. 

  • 4.2

    Give examples of carbon offsetting schemes. 

  • 4.3

    Suggest actions or changes that could help businesses in a chosen sector reduce their carbon footprint.