The draft Climate Change Bill breaks new political ground in efforts to tackle global warming but must still be strengthened to guarantee emissions cuts and help wildlife adapt to unavoidable climate change.
Ruth Davis, Head of Climate Change Policy at the RSPB, said: “Tackling climate change is like running a budget with no overdraft facility - we have no choice but to limit our emissions just as we would have no choice but to limit our spending.
“Emissions targets and a carbon budget are crucial in achieving cuts in greenhouse gas emissions but will be meaningless if aviation and shipping are excluded from emissions limits.
“The bill must also be strengthened to help vulnerable wildlife survive the impact of climate change. Protected areas such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest must be safeguarded because they are the places where we have done least damage and their protection will help buy time for species to adapt.
“And more money from agriculture budgets should be switched to pay for more environmentally friendly farming. Farmland wildlife has steeply declined even without the damage of climate change and the government has a moral and legislative duty to limit, as much as possible, the effects of global warming on our farmed and other environments.
“The restoration of wildlife habitats such as coastal freshwater sites, which are being lost because of sea level rise, is also essential. This type of initiative will give wildlife chance to adapt to climate change.”
Cath Harris, Media Officer, RSPB: 01767 681577 / 07739 921464
Notes to editors:
• The RSPB is a leading member of the Stop Climate Change coalition, which is calling for a three per cent cut in carbon emissions every year.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
• The Lodge • Sandy • Beds SG19 2DL
Press office telephone 01767 681577
Registered charity no 207076