IELTS Task 2 Question and Sample Answer

“Many people think it is very important to protect the environment but they make no effort to do it themselves. Why do you think this is the case? What actions should individuals take to protect the environment?”

This answer deliberately uses some quite high level vocabulary. If you don’t know some of these words, use a dictionary to find out the meaning and then try to use some of the expressions in your own writing. This essay is long (385 words) and it should be cut a little in each paragraph. I have not done this but stress that you should NOT try to write this length essay. (I will try to post an edited version late next week).

While the world makes amazing technological advances almost daily, it is also facing more serious environmental concerns than it has had to face at any time in all of human history. Although many people are sympathetic to the problem and say they care, various reasons prevent them from taking personal action, even when very simple steps are available that would, if adopted, allow everyone to participate in reducing the impact of environmental problems.

To begin with, many factors inhibit people from taking action on environmental issues. One of the most important is the feeling of powerlessness which is felt by many people in the face of these huge problems. Environmental issues such as global warming, atmospheric pollution in big cities and even holes found in the ozone layer feature on major news services on a regular basis.  Although many people profess to be concerned about environmental issues, in the face of such huge problems, most people believe there is little they can do to change the situation.

Fortunately there are many things that individuals can do that would have an impact on the problem over time, if enough people become involved. One of the first but most significant actions individuals could take is to use public transport. While it is less convenient for most people, the use of public transportation would significantly reduce the effect of atmospheric pollution from cars, which is devastating to the air quality in all big cities. Moving to public transport would not only reduce the amount of pollution from car exhausts, which would result in cleaner air, but it would also have the added benefit of reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which are responsible for global warming, which many scientists say we are already suffering from, and would circumvent (prevent) the predicted catastrophic changes to weather patterns that global warming will bring in the future.

In the final analysis, using public transport is just one of many things that people can do to assist the environment and improve the chances that the world will survive the environmental dangers which are currently on the horizon. Nevertheless, if this is to be achieved, it will require a concerted effort by everyone to overcome the feelings of powerlessness many people experience in the face of this seemingly insurmountable problem.