ClimateChange

It's code red as human activity is changing the climate in unprecedented and sometimes irreversible ways, the major UN scientific report has said.

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report – published on Monday 9 August 2021 – has set out the current position in terms of human-influenced climate change and the overall condition of the natural world across the globe. The report found:

  • The global surface temperature was 1.09C higher between 2011-2020 than between 1850-1900;
  • The past five years have been the hottest on record since 1850;
  • The recent rate of sea-level rise has nearly tripled compared with 1901-1971;
  • Human influence is "very likely" (90%) the main driver of the global retreat of glaciers since the 1990s and the decrease in Arctic sea-ice; and
  • It is "virtually certain" that hot extremes including heatwaves have become more frequent and more intense since the 1950s, while cold events have become less frequent and less severe.

Although the findings of the report are bleak, Warwickshire County Council has welcomed the publication of this report and hopes that it will be a wake-up call that we all must change fast to avert a global ecological catastrophe. 

Since declaring a climate change emergency on the hottest day of the year in 2019, Warwickshire County Council has dramatically increased its efforts to minimise its carbon footprint and the impact that it has on the rapidly changing climate. This has included:

  • Ensuring that considerations of climate underpin all Council decision-making;
  • Assessing and targeting reductions in carbon emissions from estate (buildings, streetlighting, vehicle fleets etc.);
  • Reduced the emissions from our streetlights by 72% compared with 2014/15 by installing LED lanterns and through strategies to adjust light levels;
  • Current and planned projects to improve building insulation, replace gas boilers with efficient electric systems and install further solar PV systems;
  • Buying only 100% Green Energy;
  • Encouraging staff and residents to explore active travel (walking/cycling) for short journeys;
  • In partnership with our district and borough councils, we have delivered 55 twin-headed electric vehicle charging points across the county; Introduced a fleet of 10 new school buses which each include their own solar panel array and battery storage to power ancillary services, which dramatically reduces fuel consumption;
  • Launching the £1 Million Green Shoots Community Climate Change Fund, which has already successfully spent £600k on projects across Warwickshire;
  • Helped residents to access best-price home solar and battery storage through the Solar Together scheme; and
  • Signed up to the UK100 pledge on carbon reduction. 

Cllr Heather Timms, Portfolio Holder for Heritage, Culture and the Environment, said: “The IPCC Report should be a wake-up call to us all. Climate change is not something that is happening somewhere else and to someone else. Climate change is happening right now, and it affects all of us. The only effective response to this is a collective one that must go beyond Governments and public bodies to every one of us. We all have an important role to play in minimising the impact that we are having on our environment.

“There is already a lot of fantastic work going on across Warwickshire to help achieve our target of being net zero by 2030 and minimise the effects that we all have on our fast-changing climate and these efforts are set to increase exponentially over the coming months and years through a variety of projects and initiatives, such as the community projects funded through the Green Shoots Fund and the benefits we will gain through signing-up to the UK100 Pledge.

“It’s very easy to read the IPCC Report and think that there is no hope for the future.  However, every indication is that the damage that we have done can be reversed if we act quickly. I look forward to this Council continuing to work with all our partners and residents to strive towards the best Warwickshire that is sustainable now and for future generations.”

You can read a copy of the IPCC report here: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/#FullReport

For more information about how Warwickshire County Council is facing the challenges of the climate change emergency, visit: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/strategies-policies-legislation/facing-challenge-climate-change-warwickshire

Get the latest news about how Warwickshire County Council and partners are facing the challenge of the climate emergency and how you can get involved: http://eepurl.com/hrk-zf

Published: 9th August 2021