Temperatures in southern England are rising at an alarming rate
and are set to reach a figure which is double the target laid
down by the Kyoto agreement – according to the CLA, the
rural economy experts.
The CLA has written to environment secretary, Hilary Benn,
reminding him of the potentially disastrous impact of climate
change on parts of the UK and central Europe. The heads
up warning comes in the week that the environment secretary
will meet with environment ministers from around the world
in Bali to debate a successor to the Kyoto treaty on climate
CLA President, Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, whose members manage
around half of the rural land in England and Wales, has
urged the minister to press for a series of cuts to help
stabilise atmospheric carbon levels by 2050. The CLA has
also written to senior figures in the EU and the UN asking
them to try to persuade India and China of the urgent need
for then to accept appropriate emission targets.
The Association has used research compiled on 14 estates
across Europe to show that even if global warming could
be contained to 2C, most of Europe would experience double
that figure – with the highest increases occurring
in central Europe, southern England and Finland.
“This has serious implications not only for cropping,
forestry, water resources and erosion, but also for biodiversity,
and for coastal zones. In all these ways, our members are
particularly vulnerable to climate change - and we believe
it likely that any increase in the frequency of extreme
events will have an impact on our members which is disproportionate
to climate changes in the mean, “said the CLA President.
He has also reminded the minister that landowners have
a valuable role to play in mitigating climate change through
such things as carbon sequestration and the production
of renewable resources in the energy and construction sectors.
“We are concerned that this potential is unlikely
to be realised without a higher value being attributed
to carbon,” he said.
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