We have declared a Climate Emergency to show our commitment to reducing our impact on a heating planet. On 8th October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a vital report on the state of climate science. They warned that if the planet warmed by 1.5C there would be some devastating consequences, such as the loss of most coral reefs, and increased extreme weather such as heatwaves and floods. Yet the consequences of allowing 2C warming would be truly catastrophic. Given that the planet is currently heading for 3-4C warming, keeping to 1.5C requires a radical shift across energy, land, industrial, urban and other systems to reduce emissions, unprecedented in history for its speed.
As this indicates, the amount of temperature change is crucial. Whilst some warming is unavoidable at this point any limitation of emissions and future heating can go a long way to reducing the overall damage caused.
These impacts will be felt globally, including locally. Below is the recent impacts assessment for the UK, published by the Environment Agency. Alongside the other impacts shown, many in our parish will have a keen sense of what such increases in river flow could mean.
Even the relatively low percentage of emissions we are responsible for individually or as parish, or even nation, can play a significant part in avoiding the worst of the heating. We also have a particular responsibility to tackle this issue in nations that have amassed significant “carbon debts” based on historical emissions (info). We have an opportunity to lead on this issue and set an example to the world.