Adapting to Climate Change has never been so important; as the BBC reported just this week the past seven years have been the hottest on record.
In 2021, Europe lived through its warmest and wettest summer and record temperatures were reported in Western US and Canada; extreme wildfires killing hundreds – all these statistics are stark reminders that the environmental, human, and economic costs of hotter temperatures are being seen globally and that it is time to take decisive steps to reduce our net carbon emissions.
The Copernicus Climate Change Service said 2021 was the fifth warmest year on record
Throughout the year GreenBlue Urban has been working alongside Cool Towns an EU Interreg project fully committed to educating the causes of heat stress, omitting where practical using a variety of nature-based solutions. Our support with urban tree pilot schemes will not only help to reduce temperatures but tackle the stormwater challenges in these cities and provide ongoing data analysis that green infrastructure can make a difference. But is it enough?
We anticipated that 2021 was the year to confront the global climate emergency, with governments across the globe committed to limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C to curb climate change.
Unprecedented political engagement on the issue concluded at the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November. No doubt, during these talks progress was made – certainly to expedite activities to curb emissions with agreements relating to deforestation, coal, and cars to be implemented. However, there are still growing concerns that this momentum may disperse over the coming months.
Within 100 years Rain Forests could be completely wiped out!
Although these concerns are felt on a global scale, several countries have yet to revisit and update their national climate pledges, which should be completed by the time delegates gather again in Egypt in 2022. In the US, President Biden has been working hard to implement the Build Back Better act, which will deliver $570 billion in tax credits aimed at combatting climate change. This program is currently on hold, however.
As COP26 hosts, the UK has worked hard to build trust with the rest of the world and with COP26 President, Alok Sharma, in place until November, there is optimism that there is a global commitment to act; however, there are still concerns that the UK is “nowhere near” meeting emissions targets. The Climate Change Committee (CCC) says that the temperature rise could, in theory – be brought down to just under 2C, but this can only happen if ministers agree to tougher policies and if other nations slash emissions too.
Can the UK get back on track? Here are some of the targets as set by the government: –
- Power Generation – All UK’s electricity to come from clean sources by 2035
- Heating – Committed to installing 600,000 heat pumps by 2028 and £5000.00 grants for homeowners to replace gas boilers.
- Cars – £2500.00 grant is available for fully electric cars costing less than £35,000 along with increased publicly accessible charging points.
- Trees – Agreement to end deforestation by 2030 and to plant 30,000 hectares by 2025, (Currently at 15,000 hectares).
- Carbon Capture & Industry – A pledge to cut manufacturing emissions by two-thirds by 2035 by use of hydrogen and carbon storage facilities – albeit technology is still emerging.
How can GreenBlue support?
GreenBlue Urban are fully in support of government initiatives to ensure a Green Recovery at a time when our health, well-being and social cohesion is at their utmost importance.
The recent Environment Act targets this and we are pleased to work with Local Authorities that are in receipt of funding such as The Urban Tree Challenge Fund or otherwise to plant ArborSystem trees in our towns and cities to enable long term tree canopy and to help reduce flooding by means of ArborFlow.
Greening our high streets will help much-needed regeneration in areas that have paid the price of the recent pandemic. Working with Specifiers to enable creative innovative designs using our latest CAD drawings or configurator, with Engineers to dismiss the myths of working around utilities will support this. Developers will benefit from the array of solutions for housing projects including HydroPlanter rain gardens and ArborCharge for Electric vehicles, helping to comply with the much-needed inclusion on Biodiversity net gain, on new developments. GreenBlue Urban are also focussing on enhancing commercial and retail space with our range of Smart furniture and green wall facades. Urban Greening would not be possible without our Landscape Contractors – creating the long-term vision, benefiting all with award-winning projects to be proud of.
GreenBlue Urban have an enviable track record of working with all disciplines and stakeholders to create long term resilient places and spaces. We see that adapting to global climate change will further enhance our society by creating healthier urban spaces for all in harmony with nature.