Natural England is calling for a Europe-wide partnership on adaptation.
The call comes ahead of the launch of the new European Commission
Green Paper "Adapting to Climate Change" on 3 July 2007.
Natural England is hosting an open debate amongst MEPs on 26 June
before the launch of the new Green Paper in Brussels.
Natural England is calling for European-wide partnership on climate
change adaptation amongst all the environment agencies to work
with the European Union to:
- Climate proof the Common Agricultural Policy.
- Maximise the role
of sustainable land management for both adaptation and mitigation
- Provide strong biofuel accreditation schemes to provide
consumer confidence in biofuels.
- Ensure the Natura 2000 network
of international wildlife sites is resilient against climate
Dr Helen Phillips, Chief Executive of Natural England, said: "A
European partnership is needed to ensure we get the right policies
and the right programmes with the right budget to deliver a proactive
response to climate change. The forthcoming European Budget review
and the CAP Health Check are ideal opportunities to prioritise
the funding of climate security and quality of life across Europe."
Joining Dr Phillips on the podium at the Natural England event,
as MEPs debate the key points that should appear in the Green Paper,
is England's Minister for Biodiversity, Barry Gardiner.
Mr Gardiner said: "The conference shows that government was
right to set up Natural England. They are taking forward the issues
of biodiversity and adaptation to climate change right to the heart
of European policy formation. In the UK, we are co-ordinating our
policies on forestry, water, energy and agriculture to help all
forms of life adapt to climate change. That is how we will deliver
the best possible future for biodiversity across the UK and we
must do the same across Europe."
Wildlife in Europe has already begun to react to a changing climate.
In England little egrets and wasp spiders are spreading north,
mountain ringlets are declining, and warm-water marine wildlife
such as sea turtles and sun fish are turning up in greater numbers.
Sea level rise and increased storminess have caused the loss of
large areas of coastal saltmarsh in south east England: 40 hectares
a year in Essex alone.
Characteristic English landscapes face significant change in the
decades ahead and familiar and well-loved features, such as beech
trees and bluebells, are likely to diminish or disappear.
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Biodiversity is crucial in the fight against climate change - Gardiner