The UK has become the first country to declare a Climate Change Emergency

Following a vote last week, the UK Government has declared a Climate Change Emergency, and will commit to new targets for reducing carbon emissions. The act is largely symbolic, and at this point is an acknowledgement that the world is facing a climate change crisis, and we need to do something about it.

In the conversations about Climate Change, the figure of 1.5C is often mentioned.  This refers to a global temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels – and there has already been a rise of 1 degree. The 1.5 degrees marker is the threshold for dangerous climate change.   One of the targets being discussed is reducing emissions in the UK to near-zero by 2050, although others are clling for hte deadline to be sooner than that.

There are a host of useful articles on the BBC:

 

And in Cornwall?

Cornwall Council declared a Climate Change Emergency in January – see their press statement at the time. You can find out more about what is being done to tackle climate change here on their web pages.

The target for Cornwall is to be carbon neutral by 2030, and action being taken so far includes:

  • improving public transport
  • increasing the number of council buildings with access to renewable energy
  • changing the street lighting regime
  • improving the waste and recycling strategy
  • making the council itself both single-use-plastic free and paperless
  • supporting new renewable energy projects including wind, geothermal and wave power.

The council’s plans also include looking at how Cornwall will adapt to climate change.  This includes working with coastal management teams to look at coastal erosion and sea flooding.

 

And in other news…

Calls for more trees to be planted

A new report has called for trees to be planted each year on an area equivalent to half of London, as part of the effort to tackle climate change. Think Tank Green Alliance says that planting 70,000 hectares of new woodland annually in the UK would result in a newt total of zero carbon emissions from farming.

The report also calls for restoration of peatland, and support for lower-carbon farming methods.

You can read an article about it in the Independent.

National Trust to plant new orchards

The National Trust has announced that it will be planting new orchards on its properties across the country, as part of a wider project to boost wildlife.

The plan includes 68 orchards to be planted by 2025, including several in Cornwall.  The Trust already owns nearly 200 orchards, but figures show that around 60% or small orchards in England have disappeared since the 1950s.

The new orchards will become home to wildlife species such as birds bats, and pollinators, as well as moths. In addition, heritage fruit varieties will be used, so that these can also be preserved for future generations.

Read the story in the Guardian.