The Chairs of the Environment Agency, Natural England and Forestry Commission have pledged to work together to deliver nature-based solutions to climate change, helping the government meet its ambition to reach net zero by 2050.
The bodies have committed to collaboratively responding to the climate and biodiversity emergencies by:
- Delivering large-scale woodland creation
- Protecting and restoring peatlands
- Supporting farmers towards net zero
- Working with nature to manage flood risk
- Taking a strategic approach to land use
- Encouraging alternatives to carbon intensive materials
- Pushing for action across the UK and abroad
This comes as the Committee on Climate Change publishes its Land Use: Policies for a Net Zero UK report, which gives its first ever in-depth advice on UK agricultural policies. The report encourages an increase in tree planting, low carbon farming practices and restoration of peatlands, among other changes.
Tony Juniper, Chair of Natural England and CIEEM Patron, said:
In meeting the climate change emergency it will be vital to reduce emissions from power, heating and transport. It is equally important, however, that we combine these efforts with plans for the protection and recovery of the natural environment. Given the scale of the challenge, a joined-up approach that embraces nature’s recovery is not an optional extra, but must be central to the whole plan, to both catch carbon and to help us adapt to what are now inevitable climate change impacts.
He also recognised the need for international cooperation, adding: “And just as individual organisations cannot deliver the scale of change needed on their own, neither can individual nations, which is why we must seize the opportunity of COP26 in Glasgow to agree ambitious global action with nature based solutions at its heart.”