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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Sep 2021 right left

  
01

Biocultural Heritage in the UK – Report Launch

Thursday 2nd September
Online
Free

Belfast Agenda: Continuing the Conversation in South Belfast

Thursday 2nd September
Online
Free

03
04
05

European Heritage Open Days 2021

Monday 6th September
Various, throughout NI
Free

Belfast Agenda: Continuing the Conversation in North Belfast

Tuesday 7th September
Online
Free

08

Belfast Agenda: Continuing the Conversation in West Belfast

Thursday 9th September
Online
Free

10
11
12
13
14
15

Belfast Agenda: Continuing the Conversation in East Belfast

Thursday 16th September
Online
Free

All–Ireland Pollinator Plan Public Webinar

Friday 17th September
Online
Free

18

Climate Craic – NI Climate Festival

Sunday 19th September
TBC
Free

Belfast Agenda: Continuing the Conversation with Communities of Interest

Monday 20th September
Online
Free

21

The 5 Fs : How you can help the climate crisis

Wednesday 22nd September
Online
Free

Handiheat Final Conference 2021

Wednesday 22nd September
Online
Free

Rural Community Network

Thursday 23rd September
Online
Free

24
25
26
27
28

Top 50 Things to do this Autumn

Wednesday 29th September

Net Zero Festival 2021

Wednesday 29th September
Online
Free

We need to keep talking about digital

Thursday 30th September
Online
Free

  
 

New NbSI–WWF–RSPB Report 5 October 2021

Transform our towns into green jungles to protect homes from extreme weather and boost nature

 

In a new report out today [Thursday 30 September], researchers are calling on UK governments to unleash the power of nature to protect our homes and farmland from floods, droughts and heatwaves, as the UK’s famously mild climate is rapidly becoming a thing of the past due to climate change.

Last month a major UN scientific report issued a “code red for humanity” and warned of increasing heatwaves, droughts and flooding across the planet but said catastrophe can be avoided if world leaders act fast. More than 2,500 deaths were linked to heatwaves in England last year. This summer flash flooding in London submerged London Underground stations in water and forced hospitals to evacuate patients and cancel surgeries.

The report, Nature–based solutions in UK climate adaptation policy, points out the government needs to act much faster on expert advice about how nature can help us adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Nature–based solutions in UK climate adaptation policy, commissioned by the RSPB, WWF and researched by Oxford University’s Nature Based Solutions Initiative, shows how the government could harness the potential of nature and make changes that would directly benefit the quality of life for UK residents, with long term savings for the taxpayer when all costs and benefits are taken into account.

The report shows there are examples all around us of nature protecting us from rising sea levels, flooding, heatwaves and other extreme weather caused by a changing climate. It also says how people’s quality of life could be safeguarded if governments recognised the true value of nature in helping fight and adapt to the very live threat of climate change.

Dr Olly Watts, RSPB Climate Change Policy Officer, said: “Climate change is here – extreme weather is already devastating our homes, our health and our precious wildlife. Yet nature is showing us what to do and how to adapt.

“As our leaders prepare to meet at COP26, we are sending a message that investing in nature restoration will not only help save some of our most iconic and well–loved species – including seahorses, otters, hedgehogs, bats, bees, butterflies, frogs and many farmland, wetland and garden birds – it will benefit people too, cooling our cities during heatwaves, filtering polluted air, protecting our homes and businesses from flooding, and our coastal communities from rising sea levels.”

Isabella O’Dowd, Head of Climate at WWF says; “Nature is our life support system and our greatest ally in tackling the climate crisis. We still have a chance to slow down climate change, restore our planet and provide a safer, healthier future for the next generation, but for this to be achieved it’s critical that the Government keep every climate promise they’ve made, including to drastically cut emissions and restore nature. Ahead of COP, we have to see ministers’ words turn to action with a solid and ambitious climate and nature plan led by public investment.”

Earlier this summer the Met Office and the Climate Change Committee warned extreme weather will only strike the UK more frequently and how we are woefully unprepared for the changes to come with roads already melting and rail network cabling buckling during record heatwaves.

Green walls and roofs are a great example of how to protect both people and wildlife, by using a mix of wildflowers and including insect–friendly features like old logs. They have blossomed in London boroughs where they have been made part of local planning policy; cooling flat–roofed buildings in summer and insulating them in winter, reducing the risk of flooding by soaking up rainwater, filtering air pollution and providing refuges for rare and threatened wildlife including bees, birds, butterflies and beetles.

The report calls on the UK governments to transform our cities and set a new expectation in national planning policy for all flat roofs in new developments to be high quality wildlife–friendly green or solar roofs and set targets to retrofit existing buildings with green roofs.

Read the full report press release and explore the details in the full report.