A new report published today by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that the world is completely off track to keep global temperature rises to the preferred target of 1.5C. The report highlights that without drastic and urgent changes to energy systems, the way we manage land and the way we move around with transportation, the world is instead heading towards a temperature rise of 3C.
CPRE warns that the countryside will be on the ‘front line’ against issues caused by rising temperatures. It calls for rural communities and business to set a precedent and lead the way to a zero carbon countryside – to ensure that everyone who lives, works and enjoys its beauty and benefits are able to do so for generations to come.
Tom Fyans, Director of Campaigns and Policy at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said:
‘From fracking to farming, transport to landscape, climate change is the greatest threat facing the countryside. This report from IPCC is crystal clear – there can be no opt-outs from tackling climate change. Rural areas will be on the front line against the challenges, they must lead the way in helping us to adapt and mitigate its worst effects.
‘The warnings today also underline why fracking is a dead duck. We must speed up the transition to renewable energy – we have absolutely no time to mess around introducing a new carbon-emitting fossil fuel industry.
‘Drastic measures are needed, but there is still a window of opportunity if we act fast, focus on investment in renewables, energy efficiency and decarbonising the farming sector, we can ensure rural communities keep pace with the level of change required. We owe it to future generations to ensure the countryside they inherit is sustainable, biodiverse and thriving.’
CPRE hopes that policymakers, both nationally and locally, take note of the ‘unprecedented nature of the changes’ described in the report, and act swiftly to ensure that England’s countryside is prepared for the enormous challenges it faces.