Global warming: Band nine problem and solution essay

IELTS examiners love to ask questions about global warming and environmental change. That means that you should do what you can to prepare yourself by practicing writing on this topic. You should also check out this band nine model answer and our guide, including vocabulary, to why it is a band nine.

Band nine sample essay

What are the causes of global warming and what can governments do to stop it? 

The climate crisis presents humanity with some of the direst circumstances it has known. In this essay, I will, first, explore how petrol-burning transportation has helped cause this crisis and how encouraging alternative means of transport can help to solve it. 

To begin, people using petrol-powered vehicles, such as cars and aeroplanes, to get about can cause global warming. This is because when these fuels are burned, they release gasses which increase the amount of heat which is absorbed by the planet. For example, someone taking an intercontinental flight can release as many harmful emissions as an average person uses in a year. Likewise, even short trips around town in a car can, when taken regularly, do serious damage to the environment. These emissions can cause a vicious cycle as when the planet warms, ice melts and releases more trapped gasses, further increasing global warming. 

However, governments can encourage alternatives to these gas guzzlers. If governments improve local public transport, they can drastically reduce the number of people who take short trips by car. Similarly, by making train travel more affordable, they can encourage people to avoid short-haul flights. For instance, as long as a trip from London to Edinburgh, a journey of 400 miles, is far cheaper by plane than by train, the government cannot expect people to avoid this damaging route. 

To conclude, transportation which uses fossil fuels is a major cause of global warming. However, the use of these vehicles is often avoidable and governments can work to counteract this by making other modes of transport more enticing. 

Why is this essay band nine? 


There are a few ways of approaching a problem and solution essay. In this example, I have dedicated one body paragraph to one problem and one body paragraph to a solution. This is a good way of dealing with a common problem with this question type: giving a shopping list of problems and a list of solutions. Instead, I’ve given myself plenty of room to give details about each of my points. 

You can also see that the flow in this essay is very smooth. The introduction lets you know what is coming up in the body paragraphs. Similarly, the conclusion refers back to what has come before. There are also cohesive devices like ‘to begin’, ‘likewise’, ‘for example’, and ‘similarly’ which help show the links between sentences. 


I’ve included some of the more interesting and high-level vocabulary from the essay below. These words are underlined in the essay. They appear in the same order here as they appear in the essay. 

Climate crisis

This is another term often used for global warming. It is often preferred because ‘global warming’ sounds like it is mild while ‘climate crisis’ sounds more urgent. 

Dire circumstances 

If something is dire, it is very serious or desperate. This word often goes together with ‘circumstances’. 


Inter is a prefix which means ‘between’. You might have already heard of ‘international’ which is between countries. Intercontinental is between continents. You might also hear ‘intercity’ and ‘interstellar’ for between cities and between stars. 


This is the noun version of ‘emit’. It’s something that is given off by something. Usually, this is going to be for describing a gas and especially gasses that cause global warming. 

Vicious cycle

A vicious cycle is when something causes itself and things continue to get worse and worse. Another example might be going into debt because you have no money, but having even less money because you are in debt. 


This is a common way of saying a short flight. This is usually under three hours. Between three and six hours is ‘medium-haul’ and anything over six hours is ‘long-haul’.

Fossil fuel

Fossil fuels are essentially coal and oil. The name comes from the fact that these are made from fossilised carbon. 


One type of complex grammar I found useful in this essay is an appositive. This is a piece of extra information that you insert into a sentence between commas. For example, in this sentence ‘a journey of 400 miles’ is an appositive. 

For instance, as long as a trip from London to Edinburgh, a journey of 400 miles, is far cheaper by plane than by train, the government cannot expect people to avoid this damaging route. 

You can find out more on our appositives guide

Final thoughts

I hope you found this essay useful. Feel free to post your essay as a comment and I’ll take a look. If you want to have a look at more band nine model answers, you can check out our list of questions.

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