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Adapting to climate change needs our ‘urgent, unswerving attention’ says National Trust with new landmark report

by | 20 Nov 23 | Nature & Biodiversity, News

The National Trust has released a new climate adaptation landmark report, ahead of the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also referred to as COP28.

The report, ‘A Climate for Change’ reveals the Trust is strengthening its approach to climate adaptation, while calling on policy and legislation makers to do the same.

“Climate change presents the single biggest threat to the places in our care and the single biggest challenge to our mission,” says outdoors and natural resources director at the National Trust, Patrick Begg.

Floodwater at Charlecote Park in Warwickshire. (C) National Trust

With 250,000 hectares of land, 780 miles of coastline and 220 gardens and parks in its care, the Trust is already experiencing first-hand the repercussions of more frequent extreme weather events.

Begg adds: “In just the last month, two major storms, Babet and Ciarán, caused beaches to be eroded, flooding in our gardens, significant trees to topple and, ironically, for our hydro at Cragside in Northumberland – the birthplace of hydroelectricity – to be temporarily overwhelmed.”

Analysis by GIS Consultants 3Keel revealed that over 70% of the places looked after by the charity could be at a medium or high risk of climate hazards by 2060.

The report details how the Trust is implementing technology to help detect future threats to its places, including new layers added to the charity’s Hazard Map tool, enabling properties to flag localised threats posed by climate change.

While also using nature-based solutions, such as re-meandering rivers to slow down flood peaks and restore nature and carbon-rich habitats: and future-proofing its gardens to cope against changing weather patterns.

The Trust is now calling on political leaders to address the need for preventative measures against climate change to be implemented within new legislation.

Global ambassador for the Race to Resilience, Emma Howard Boyd who wrote the reports forward and offers this comment: “I hope this is a catalyst for increased public attention on climate security, a source of guidance and support, and a powerful message to decision makers in every sector that now is the time to act.

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