COP26: Baby steps forward, when giant leaps were needed.

COP26: Baby steps forward, when giant leaps were needed.

As COP26 closes in Glasgow, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust responds to the progress made.

As COP26 ends we have been reflecting on what progress was - or wasn't - made for Warwickshire's wildlife. The UK Government did not get off to the best start prior to COP26, by failing to ban new coal mines and offering support for more oil and gas exploration in UK waters. To combat climate change the government must increase their ambition and speed-up carbon reduction before it is too late to make a difference. 

We know it’s time to get serious about putting nature in recovery across 30% of Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull's land by 2030 to tackle the twin climate and nature crises. The agricultural reform currently underway in the county must work for the climate and nature to protect our wildlife from habitat loss and harmful pesticides. We must restore nature right now to protect wildlife, and draw carbon down from the atmosphere to help repair the climate.

Two of our Young Adult Ambassadors shared why climate change matters to them.

Eleanor said:
"Tackling the climate crisis is extremely important to me as a 23-year-old, because I have the rest of my life to suffer through the impacts if we don't. Like many people in my generation, I feel like I have been aware of the climate crisis for most of my life and have already seen some of the impacts of it first-hand. There is simply no room for inaction at this point. If we don't work hard enough to tackle the climate crisis now, we would be robbing ourselves and our planet of the future it deserves."

Becca said:
"On a human level, I quite like the quote: “System change not climate change.” Climate change is being caused by the wealthiest half of the world and will impact the poorest people in the world first, through extreme droughts decreasing harvests to those who are already food insecure. By doing our bit to decrease our carbon emissions we are helping fight these injustices...
I gain so much from being in natural spaces, whether that is having mindful moments in a woodland or surfing waves in the sea. If we don't care for our ecosystems, we won't be able to do things like this!"

We have identified four areas which need progress in order to protect wildlife in the county from further damage:

  1. Making all agriculture nature and climate friendly
    Government must support and incentivise sustainable land use practices through England's new Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes. Our Arden Farm Wildlife Network brings together like-minded farmers to share best practice on how to improve their land for wildlife. Read more about the network here.
  2. Using the planning system to help address the climate crisis
    Introducing a new Wildbelt designation in England would protect land in recovery for nature, and putting Nature Recovery Networks at the heart of the future planning system will address the crisis whilst providing opportunities for people from all backgrounds to access wildlife-rich places in their communities. View our report on how the planning system can help our health, nature and climate.
  3. Reaching 30 by 30
    We must restore a minimum of 30% of UK land and sea for nature by 2030. We are working to achieve this through our £3million Nature Recovery Fund appeal which seeks to purchase land of little value for wildlife and improve it to make more space for nature. Please consider supporting us in reaching this target. 
  4. Going beyond Net Zero
    A set of national policies will be critical to protecting the UK's natural environment from irreversible and catastrophic change. You can read the Trust's Carbon Reduction Strategy which is bringing us to Net Zero and beyond here