IELTS Level 1 - Unit 8 Level 2 - Unit 6 Speaking Vocabulary

Ideas and Opinions for IELTS – The Environment

The environment is a common topic in IELTS writing and speaking. Many students have some difficulty in developing opinions, ideas and arguments for these questions. Here are some ideas. At the end I have listed some part 1, 2 and 3 questions for speaking practice.

Global warming

  • Gases such as carbon dioxide trap heat from the sun
  • This causes global temperatures to rise
  • This process is known as the greenhouse effect
  • Human activity is a major factor in the rise of the greenhouse gases
  • Factories and vehicles produce emissions and exhaust fumes
  • Many developing countries are becoming industrialised
  • The number of cars on our streets is growing
  • Cheap air travel is allowing more people to fly

Effects of Global Warming

  • Global warming will have a significant impact on our planet
  • Rising temperature will cause melting of the polar ice caps
  • Sea levels will rise
  • We can expect more extreme weather conditions
  • Flooding and droughts may become more common
  • Impacts of humans on the environment
  • The increasing world population is putting pressure on natural resources
  • Fossil fuels like oil and gas are running out
  • We are destroying wildlife habitats
  • We have cut down enormous areas of rainforest
  • This has led to the extinction of many species of animals and plants

Solutions to environment problems

  • Governments could introduce laws to limit emissions from factories
  • They should invest in renewable energy from solar, wind or water power
  • They could impose “green taxes” on drivers and airlines companies
  • Government campaigns should promote recycling
  • Natural areas and wild animals should be protected
  • Individuals should also try to be greener
  • We should take fewer flights abroad for holidays
  • We should take public transport rather than driving
  • We should choose products with less packaging
  • We should recycle as much as possible


  • The amount of waster we produce has increased
  • This problem is a result of our consumer culture
  • Products are not made to last
  • If something breaks, we throw it away and buy a new one
  • Advertisers encourage is to buy the newest fashions
  • Packaging is an important part of selling
  • Most foods are sold in non-biodegradable plastics packaging
  • The amount of household waste is growing
  • This waste ends up in landfill sites


  • People do not think about the consequences of dropping rubbish
  • They assume that somebody is pad to clean the streets
  • Plastic packaging does not break down easily
  • Most of the litter seen on streets is fast food packaging
  • Recycling and other solutions
  • Companies should make goods that last longer
  • They should not use so much packaging
  • Governments should be stricter, about waster produced by companies
  • They should put legal limits on packaging
  • Consumers should avoid buying over-packaged products
  • We should recycle and reuse useful materials.
  • There are collection banks for glass, paper and plastic bottles
  • Households can use several rubbish bins to separate waste
  • Recycling saves energy and raw materials

Nuclear Power: Positives

  • There are several benefits to build more nuclear power stations
  • Fossil fuels like oil and gas are running out
  • Nuclear power is a sustainable energy source
  • It can be used to produce electricity without wasting natural resources
  • It could replace the use of natural resources like coal, oil or gas
  • Nuclear power stations are cleaner than fossil fuel power stations
  • They could help to reduce carbon emissions that cause global warming
  • The risks of accidents are being reduced

Nuclear Power: Negatives

  • Opponents of nuclear power worry about the safety of power stations
  • The building of new nuclear power stations is unpopular
  • Nobody wants to live near one
  • Nuclear waste disposal is a significant problem
  • There is currently no way to decontaminate radioactive material
  • People worry that terrorists could steal radioactive materials
  • It is safer to produce energy from solar, wind or water power

Part 1 Speaking:

1. What types of environmental problems exist in your country?
2. Do you do anything to help protect the environment? If yes, what?
3. What is your attitude towards recycling?
4. How important is it to conserve water? What do you do to conserve?
5. Why should schools educate children about the environment?
6. How can we save the marine environment from harm?
7. What can we do to look after wildlife around the world?
8. What would the world be like if governments did nothing to protect endangered species?
If you were offered to eat an endangered species what would you do?

Part 2:

Describe an environmental problem that has occurred in your country. You should say:

  • The cause of the problem
  • What effect it has had on your country
  • The steps, if any, that have been taken to solve this

and explain why you think this problem is so important to solve

Part 3:

  1. Tell me about some of the environmental problems that are affecting countries these days?
  2. Do you think that governments around the world are doing enough to tackle the problems?
  3. Why do some people not consider environmental problems to be serious
  4. Why do you think environmental disasters caused by humans happen?

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