Sussex is under serious threat with climate change

From: Stephen Hardy MBE, Trustee, CPRE Sussex, George Close, Robertsbridge

A new report published this Monday by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that the world is completely off track to keep global temperature rises to the preferred target of 1.5 C.

The report highlights that without drastic and urgent changes to energy systems, the way we manage land, the food we eat and the transport we use, the world is instead heading towards a temperature rise of 3 C and disaster.

CPRE Sussex warns that the countryside will be on the front line against issues caused by rising temperatures. We call for rural communities and businesses to lead the way to a zero carbon countryside – to ensure that everyone who lives, works and enjoys, and that includes town and city dwellers, its beauty and benefits are able to do so for generations to come.

From fracking to farming, transport to landscape, climate change is the greatest threat facing the countryside.

This report from IPCC is crystal clear – there can be no opt-outs from tackling climate change and tackling it urgently. Especially relevant is the recent decision by Government to making fracking easier.

East Sussex with its Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty is under serious threat to be fracked. The warnings in the IPCC report demonstrate absolutely why this ill-thought out Government policy must be changed and changed immediately. We must speed up the transition to renewable energy – we simply cannot be creating a whole new carbon-emitting fossil fuel industry.

Drastic measures are needed, but there is still a window of opportunity if we act fast, focus on investment in renewables, energy efficiency and decarbonising the farming sector, we can ensure rural communities play their part in achieving the level of change required.

We owe it to future generations to ensure the countryside they inherit is sustainable, biodiverse and thriving.

CPRE Sussex urges policymakers, that means our local MPs and councillors, to take note of the ‘unprecedented nature of the changes’ described in the report, and act swiftly to ensure that the Sussex countryside is protected into the future and we can hand on a legacy of a sustainable, economically active and still precious countryside to our children and grandchildren.