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Climate Change Bill must stay on target

Woodland Trust welcomes Bill, but calls for annual targets and action on adaptation.

Global warming is the greatest threat facing the environment - making it vitally important that we don’t miss targets introduced in the Climate Change Bill. The Woodland Trust, the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity, welcomes the Bill, but points out progress on climate change is in danger of being derailed unless we take stronger action to cut emissions. 

Ed Pomfret, head of campaigns says: “The Climate Change Bill is an excellent step forward from the Government and gives us a valuable tool to slash carbon emissions, but we have to ensure it has the teeth to keep us moving. We need robust annual targets to have a chance to make it work. It is also important that individuals are given clearer guidance about what they can do to make a difference.”

The Bill aims to cut carbon emissions by 60% by 2050, but the latest science suggests we need to go further. To prevent a catastrophic warming of more than 2 degrees - enough to wreak climate chaos - we must reduce carbon emissions by 3% year on year. That means we need annual targets, and for the government to take urgent corrective action if we veer off course. .

The Bill also introduces a new annual system of Government reporting to parliament on progress including on climate change adaptation strategies. As well as cutting emissions this focus on adaptation is welcome because, whatever we do now to reduce pollution, we still face climate change because of past emissions.

Ed Pomfret adds: “We need to take urgent and radical action to cut our emissions drastically if we are to avoid climate chaos. But we also need to make sure that we help wildlife and habitats adapt to the climate change that we’re already locked into. We have a moral responsibility to protect and restore important habitats like ancient woodland, and create new habitats to buffer and extend existing habitats, or we could lose our unique mix of woodland, plants and animals.”

As well as benefiting biodiversity, helping habitats adapt to climate change provides a range of valuable public benefits such as improved air quality and quality public spaces for recreation.

The Woodland Trust supports ‘I Count’ - the campaign of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, with 4 million supporters in the UK. The campaign backs a Bill which accepts a maximum global warming danger threshold of 2 degrees Celsius and reduces UK emissions by at least 3% year on year.  Everyone can, and should, sign up to I Count by visiting www.icount.org.uk or texting ‘I Count’ to 84424 - successfully helping to show the public and politicians that climate change is not too big a problem to fix.


For media enquiries contact:
The Woodland Trust Press Office on 01476 581121, email [email protected]

Notes to editors:

The Woodland Trust
The Woodland Trust is the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity.  It has 250,000 members and supporters.  The Trust has four key aims: i) No further loss of ancient woodland; ii) Restoring and improving the biodiversity of woods; iii) Increasing new native woodland; iv) Increasing people’s understanding and enjoyment of woodland.
Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering approximately 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres).  Access to its sites is free.  Further news can be found at www.woodland-trust.org.uk

I Count
1. The Woodland Trust supports I Count - the campaign of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition with 4 million supporters in the UK. The campaign backs a Climate Change Bill which accepts a maximum global warming danger threshold of 2º Celsius and reduces UK emissions by at least 3% year on year.  I Count launched last year at a mass event of 25,000 people in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 4th November 2006 on the eve of global climate change talks in Nairobi.  I Count is successfully showing the public and politicians that climate change is not too big a problem to fix.  Sign up to I Count and visit www.icount.org.uk or text ‘I Count’ to 84424.
2. SCC members include: Friends of the Earth, Christian Aid, Greenpeace, Oxfam, People & Planet, National Federation of Women’s Institutes, RSPB, Tearfund, World Wide Fund for Nature - UK (Board members), ACTSA, Action Aid, Airport Watch, A Rocha, BMS World Mission, CAFOD, Campaign against Climate Change, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Carplus, Climate Outreach and Information Network, Come off It, Ethical Consumer, Ethical Jobs, From Greenhouse to Green House, Garden Organic, Glasgow Eco-Renovation Network, Global Student Forum, Green TV, Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Science, Islamic Relief, Justice and Peace Scotland, Medact, The National Trust for Scotland, Operation Noah, Panet,Plan B, Practical Action, Road Block, SAOCC, Save our World, SCIAF, Shared Energy, SPEAK, Spokes, Surfers Against Sewage, Sustrans, Take Global Warming Seriously, The Wildlife Trusts, Transport 2000, UNA, Unison, Women's Environmental Network, Woodland Trust, World Development Movement, Youth Against Climate Change.

3. The I Count Campaign calls on the UK government to provide:
• action internationally: ensure that global greenhouse gas emissions are irreversibly declining by 2015
• action for justice: deliver assistance to developing countries to adapt to climate change and give access to clean energy to meet their developmental needs
• action in the UK: introduce a Climate Bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 3% per year.