New climate report gives a stark warning.

New climate report gives a stark warning.

Today, the IPCC’s climate report gives a stark warning that a global temperature increase of at least 1.5C by 2040 is now largely inevitable, with consequent increases in extreme heat, flooding, sea level rise, drought and wildfire.

The report also says that global emissions reductions to Net Zero by 2050 is extremely likely to keep global temp rise below 2℃. Climate change is already affecting people, places and nature in every region of the world, and is having profound effects on wildlife in the UK – yet nature, when it’s restored, will contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving resilience to inevitable change.

Kathryn Brown, Interim Director of Climate Action at The Wildlife Trusts says:

“This is hugely urgent – we need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels, and restore nature at scale as fast as possible. The Wildlife Trusts are repairing habitats and creating new ones across the UK – nature-based solutions can help tackle the climate crisis and increase our ability to adapt to it. But nature needs time to store carbon on the vast scale that’s needed which is why we need to restore 30% of our land for nature by 2030

“Organisations that are putting nature into recovery need support to do this work – and a new designation known as Wildbelt is vital to protect land where nature is being repaired. All government departments must agree that we are fighting both a climate and nature crisis.  Currently we risk being undermined by destructive infrastructure projects such as HS2 and the £27 billion being spent on road building – as well as plans for new coal mines and further oil and gas in the North Sea. The Government cuts to foreign aid have had a negative impact too, by undermining our diplomatic negotiating power ahead of COP26.

“We can all do something to help tackle the crisis – but the Government must change its ways, show stronger leadership, and enable everyone to play their part.”

Even in landlocked Derbyshire, climate change is already having an impact, which will only increase as the global temperature increases.  We are seeing more intense rainfall through the year, leading to more localised flooding.  We are also seeing longer periods of high atmospheric pressure, with longer periods of drought.  These two factors are having significant impacts on the plants and habitats around us.  Blanket bogs are becoming more susceptible to wildfire, which can release huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere very quickly, and water stress is exacerbating diseases of trees, such as ash dieback.

Species are changing across Derbyshire too as climatic envelopes shift.  20 years ago, species such as Cetti’s Warbler and Little Egret were unheard of in Derbyshire, now they are regular breeders. Species of the uplands are likely to start disappearing as they have nowhere else to go.  How much longer will red grouse and golden plover be resident on our moorlands?

Jo Smith Chief Executive Derbyshire Wildlife Trust adds:

‘Todays IPCC Report is code red for humanity. If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe. But as today’s report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses’