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Remember the countryside at COP 26, says CPRE

4 February 2020

Boris Johnson has launched the 2020 United Nations Climate Conference, known as COP 26. The UK will host this major event in November 2020, and Johnson has kicked off preparations with a strategy for the event.

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s launch of the UN climate summit, Crispin Truman, chief executive of CPRE, the countryside charity, said:

‘The Prime Minister is absolutely right to name the climate emergency as a top priority for the government and to put natural solutions at the forefront of climate-proofing the UK. In order to have natural solutions, you need a thriving countryside. By enhancing some of the features which make our countryside beautiful – increasing hedgerow cover, planting new biodiverse forests, restoring peatlands – we can invite nature back in, enhance and protect green space essential for our mental and physical health while tackling climate change.

‘But action to enhance nature-based solutions to the climate emergency cannot become a smokescreen for half measures in other sectors. By hosting COP 26, the government has shown its intention to lead the way in ending the UK’s contribution to the climate crisis. This means rapidly decarbonising transport and the ways we get around, committing to retrofitting our homes to improve energy efficiency, phasing out fossil fuels and prioritising renewables, and making sure the way we use land – from how we farm to where we build new homes – is done in a way that locks carbon in, instead of releasing it. All of these things must be done together if we’re to be considered a world leader ahead of COP 26.’

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