Collocations For IELTS Writing Task 2 – Topic: The Environment

Useful Collocations For IELTS Writing Task 2 – Topic- Environment
Useful Collocations For IELTS Writing Task 2 – Topic- Environment

In the previous post, we have learnt a wide range of  academic collocations about Crime. Today, I am going to show you the next topic that is about the Environment. 

Damaging the environment

The environment is always the common topic in IELTS Writing Test, especially in Task 2. Therefore, if you can make use of the collocations below, you will easily impress the examiner with your vocabulary and then improve your writing score to band 7+.

1. Serious environmental degradation: The process in the quality of environment changes to a worse condition.

“In some industrial zones, the production processes may result in serious environmental degradation.”

2. Irresponsible disposal of industrial waste: Discharge industrial waste without concern about the environment.

“Global warming stems from the irresponsible disposal of industrial waste.”

3. Waste treatment systems: The way to treat wastes without harming the environment.

“If factory installed waste treatment systems instead of discharging chemical wastes into rivers, water pollution could be controlled.”

4. Discharge chemical waste: to dispose of chemical waste.

“Nowadays, more and more company and industrial zones have been discharging chemical waste into rivers, causing death to many fish and other aquatic animals.”

5. Litter the street: To leave the waste paper, cans, etc. on the street.

“Residents will consider newcomers dirty and ill-mannered if they litter the street or spit gum in public places.”

6. The emission of greenhouse gases: The act of sending out gas, especially carbon dioxide or methane, that is through to trap heat above the Earth and cause the greenhouse effect.

“If all countries in over the world could decrease their energy consumption, this will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.”

7. Chemical fertilisers/weedkillers: Poison used to kill unwanted plants.

“Organic farmers do not pollute the water or the soil which result from the application of chemical fertilisers and weedkillers.”

8. Eco-friendly: Not harmful to the environment.

“Countries such as Japan are leading the way, for example, in developing more eco-friendly cars, buses and lorries.”

9. To be spoiled by: To be received a bad effect that it is no longer attractive, enjoyable, useful, etc

“Several famous beaches in Vietnam have been spoiled by this lack of respect for the local environment.”

10.Contamination of land, air or water: To make land, air or water dirty or harmful by putting chemicals or poison in it.

“Contamination of land, air and water has reached alarming levels.”

11. Illegal logging and deforestation: the work for cutting down trees for commercial purpose in an illegal way

“It should not be forgotten that illegal logging in the Amazon Basin is still a major factor in climate change.”

12. Burning fossil fuels: Burning a fuel such as coal or oil that is produced by the very gradual decaying of animals or plants over million of years.

” Individuals can make a small contribution by not burning wood and other fossil fuels.”

13. long-term consequences: something that happens in the distant future as a result of a particular action or set of conditions.

“The effects of our use of fossil fuels today may last for generations, and it is almost certain to have long-term consequences for humanity.”

14. Renewable energy: Renewable energy comes from sources that can be easily replaced naturally so that there is always more available.

“Wind farms and other sources of renewable energy will help to reduce CO2 emission to an acceptable level.”

15. Environmental protection: The act of protecting the environment.

” Environmental protection is one of the most important challenges almost every country is facing.”

16. Sustainable development: The development without damaging the environment.

” The government should commit to sustainable development and the protection of the environment.”

17. To deplete natural resource: To reduce the amount of natural resource.
” Depleting natural resource is become a serious concern for the government to get deal with.”

18. Fight climate change: To prevent a permanent change in weather

“International cooperation is necessary to fight climate change.”

19. Conserve energy: To protect and prevent energy from reduction.

“Scientists in many countries are cooperating to find a method to conserve energy.”

20. Sort the daily garbage: To arrange garbage in groups according to size, type daily.

“One thing that individual can do to protect the environment is sorting the daily garbage.”

21. Dump waste: To dispose of waste in an irresponsible manner

Example: Disposal of household waste is a daunting task for local authorities. Towns and cities cannot just dump such waste and hope it will go away.

22. Toxic waste: Poisonous waste

Example: Efforts to recycle waste are only a partial solution. Meanwhile, the problem of toxic waste remains.

23. Offset carbon emissions: Pay for an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide to be saved elsewhere

Example: Some airlines have schemes now for offsetting carbon emissions.

24. Introduce green taxes: Taxes which relate to the protection of the environment

Example: Politicians should not be afraid of introducing green taxes and incentives to encourage eco-friendly design in architecture.

25. Reduce carbon footprint: reduce amount of carbon dioxide created by an activity/person/business

26. Food miles: Distance food has to travel between where it is grown or made and where it is consumed

Example: We can all reduce our carbon footprint by flying less, and reduce our food miles by buying local produce.

Climate change and its consequence:

27. Searing heat: extreme heat

Example: Parts of Europe which used to be cooler now experience intense, searing heat, and temperatures soar above the average every summer

28. Widespread flooding

Example: Most areas in Europe suffer widespread flooding on a regular basis.

29. Alternative energy sources

30. Hybrid car

Example: To protect the environment, people can buy a hybrid car, develop alternative energy sources for homes, solar heating for instance. and build more offshore wind farms.

31. Combat climate change

Example: It is absolutely vital that every civil plays their role in combating climate change.

32. Environmental catastrophe

Example: We may have less than a decade to avoid an environmental catastrophe on a global scale.

Other useful expressions/phrases for the Environment Topic:

  • The deterioration in the air quality
  • To curb environmental deterioration
  • To destroy/degrade the environment
  • To lower the demand for energy in every household
  • Exhaust fumes from vehicles
  • To raise the public’s ecological consciousness
  • To promote environmentally-friendly technology
  • To reduce the dependence on the traditional energy resources/on fossil fuels.
  • To suffer from adverse effects of environmental problems
  • To burn fossil fuels to generate energy
  • The growing demand for fossil fuels in the world
  • Renewable energy from solar, wind or water power
  • Gas emissions from factories
  • To alleviate environmental problems
  • To contaminate the environment
  • The protection of wildlife
  • The biology will be seriously affected


Exercise 1. Come up with Answers for the following topics and post it in the comment section or on forum to be checked and scored by other IELTS learners and our IELTS experts.

Topic 1: Some people think that in order to prevent illness and disease, governments should make efforts in reducing environmental pollution and housing problems. To what extent do you agree to disagree with this statement?

You can read Sample Answer here.

Topic 2: Development in technology has brought various environmental problems. Some believe that people need to live simpler lives to solve environmental problems. Others, however, believe technology is the way to solve these problems. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

You can read Sample Answer here.

Topic 3: The best way to solve the world’s environmental problems is to increase the cost of fuel. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

You can read Sample Answer here.

Topic 4: Reducing global environmental damage should be handled by governments rather than individuals. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Exercise 2. Here is an interview with Gary Prime, the American rock star known for his support of environmental campaigns, who is visiting London.
Fill in the blank with one of the following collocations:

Searing heat
Temperatures soar
Widespread flooding
Irreversible climate change
Food miles
Carbon footprints
Renewable energy
Green taxes
Carbon emissions
Solar heating
Run dry
Dire consequences
Hybrid car

Interviewer: Would you agree that climate change is the most urgent issue facing us today?

Prime: Definitely. You only have to look at the changing weather patterns in many parts of the world. It’s absolutely vital that we change our ways before it’s too late. Parts of Europe which used to be cooler now experience intense, ____(1)_____, and _____(2)______above the
average every summer. Other areas suffer ____(3)_____on a regular basis. We can’t continue in this way without there being ____(4)_____ .

Interviewer: So what can people do in the face of this ____(5)_____?

Prime: Yes, there is. We can all reduce our ____(6)_____by flying less, and reduce our ____(7)_____ by buying local produce. Some airlines have schemes now for offsetting ____(8)_____ .

Interviewer: Flying’s only one part of it, though. Most of the problems come from vehicle emissions and power stations.

Prime: True, but there are things we can do about that too. Buy a ____(9)_____, develop alternative energy sources for homes, ____(10)_____for instance, and build more ____(11)_____wind farms. Oil supplies will ____(12)_____ within 50 years. ____(12)_____ can make a real difference. And politicians shouldn’t be afraid of introducing ____(13)_____and incentives to encourage ____(14)_____ design in architecture. With sufficient will, we can find a solution.

Interviewer: Gary Prime, thank you for giving up your time for this interview.

Prime: No problem, I’ve got just enough time to catch my flight to Los Angeles.

Exercise 3Complete each sentence using a word from the collocations above.
1 It’s absolutely…………… that we all do something to reduce global warming.
2 Oil supplies are likely to……………..dry within the next 200 years.
3  We looked out to sea and spotted some………………………………..wind farms.
4  The airline has a scheme where you can……………………..your carbon emissions.
5 Continued use of fossil fuels will have……………….consequences in the long term.
6 As a green organisation we only use architects who specialise in…………………design.

Exercise 4: Correct the collocation errors in these sentences.
1  We need to find alternative energy origins for private homes.
2 The desert experiences soaring heat during the day but is cold at night.
3 They now have a sun heating system in their house; it’s very economical.
4 Temperatures expanded during the summer months and reached a record high.
5  The government must present green taxes so people who damage the environment pay more.
6 He has one of those mixed cars which alternates between petrol and battery power.
7 The weather designs have changed in recent years: winters arc milder, summers are hotter.
8 Vehicle transmissions are the main source of pollution in big cities.
9 We must change our way before it is too late.

You can go to United Nations Environment Program website to learn more useful collocations related to the environment.

What do you think of today’s lesson?

Leave us a message in the comments section below!

Don’t forget to use these useful expressions on a daily basis  to boost your IELTS writing score.

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Collocations For IELTS Writing Task 2 – Topic: The Environment
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