The IPCC’s new climate report gives a stark warning that global temperature increase, of at least 1.5C by 2040, is now largely inevitable and this will bring consequent increases in the heat, flooding, sea level rise, drought and wildfire that we are already experiencing.
The report also says that action to achieve Net Zero by 2050 is extremely likely to keep global temperature increase to less than 2C. This means that there are two things we all need to do: stop burning fossil fuels and restore nature at scale as fast as possible.
The forthcoming COP26 in Glasgow will be hugely important in terms of international action at government level and we shall continue to work hard to press our own Government for action, not least to deliver on their commitments to restore nature that will also help to capture carbon and enable us to become more resilient to inevitable change.
For decades, Wildlife Trusts across the country have been protecting, restoring, and creating precious carbon stores within their own nature reserves. In Worcestershire our purchase of Dropping Well Farm nature reserve is a great current example where arable farmland will be restored to heathland, delivering net carbon sequestration.
This needs to be delivered on a vast scale – we want to see 30% of our land restored for nature by 2030 and this can only be achieved through working with other landowners, applying nature-based solutions that also increase our ability to adapt to the effects of climate change. Our Natural Networks project is leading the way in Worcestershire.
Everyone has a part to play in reducing emissions or storing carbon. As a Trust we have committed to at least net zero by 2030 by reducing our own emissions wherever possible and creating new nature reserves that will sequester carbon to mitigate the residual emissions. Our Team Wilder programme will reach out to communities in Worcestershire to support and empower them to act locally for both wildlife and to sequester carbon. We are also calling for a new designation known as Wildbelt, which will be vital to protect land where nature is being repaired.
We can all do our bit to tackle the crisis.