Our response to IPCC report on Climate Change and Land-Use

Peatbog habitat, Brecon Beacons ©National Trust Images/Corrinne Manning

Today the IPCC launch their report on Climate Change and Land Use. In response Patrick Begg, National Trust’s Director of Outdoors and Natural Resources, said:

“Today’s IPCC report is a stark warning of the increasing pressures being put on our land.

“Healthy soil is the backbone of the natural environment. It is fundamental for protecting wildlife, storing water and locking away vast amounts of carbon, but when left to decline, it becomes a major contributor to climate change. From flooding in the North of England, to the recent heatwave in northwest Europe, to unprecedented wildfires in the Arctic region, the relationship between land and climate change is only too clear.

“One of the biggest opportunities to be seized is through the large-scale creation and restoration of natural habitats like native woodlands, peatlands and mudflats that can store carbon and provide new habitats for nature. In places such as the Peak District, we’re returning peatlands that were previously drained into resilient eco-systems that will reduce emissions and provide a home for scarce species.

“As a major landowner, the National Trust is determined, in partnership with our farm tenants,  to be at the forefront of showing how restoring nature and adopting nature-friendly farming can play a major role in capturing carbon. This is starting with our commitment to create or restore 25,000 hectares of habitat by 2025.

“If the UK Government is to play a world-leading role for the environment and is to meet the new net zero target by 2050 then it needs to provide the funding and legislation that will restore nature, starting with the Agriculture Bill and a much stronger Environment Bill. At BBC Countryfile Live last weekend it was good to hear the new Secretary of State Theresa Villiers MP saying on the National Trust stage that she wants to see these Bills back in parliament as soon as possible to get them into law.”

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