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CPRE reaction to new Committee on Climate Change report

CPRE reaction to new Committee on Climate Change report

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) welcomes a new report, published today by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), calling for ambitious targets to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions to 'net-zero' by 2050, ending the UK's contribution to global warming within 30 years.

The report outlines the dramatic policy changes that are needed across all government departments in order to meet this target, and calls for far greater urgency and ambition from the government on many current plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

CPRE supports the CCC in calling for a cross-departmental approach that ensures reaching a net-zero target is the top priority for all ministers.

Tom Fyans, deputy chief executive at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said:

‘Climate change is the greatest threat facing the countryside. From prolonged heatwaves and moorland wildfires, to severe and more frequent flooding, our countryside is under severe pressure from the impact of climate breakdown – but it will also provide many of the solutions.

‘By prioritising policies and funding that will see better land use, dramatically reduce emissions from agriculture, increase the planting of hedgerows and trees, and restore our peatlands, we can drive carbon back into the ground. Our transition to renewable energy must intensify and a deadline set for the phasing out of fossil fuels. The government’s pro-fracking agenda must be dropped altogether.’

CPRE is calling for better land use that ensures brownfield land is prioritised over greenfield development for housing; new policies that drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the farming sector and halt the degradation of our soils; and an ambitious new strategy for the restoration of peat.

CPRE welcomes the recommendation for a 40% extension of the current network of hedgerows. An increase in hedgerow and tree planting would help with carbon capture and mitigate the impacts of climate change by alleviating floods, but they also create important habitats for wildlife and can improve air quality.

The countryside charity is also calling for the government’s investment in road building and airport expansion to be redirected to developing cleaner, greener forms of public transport. This will simultaneously reduce carbon emissions and limit the amount of countryside lost to unnecessary road building, which increases traffic, congestion and carbon emissions.

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