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Boris Johnson tells climate crisis to be a priority in the new year
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Boris Johnson tells climate crisis to be a priority in the new year

Boris Johnson and a placard of the earth looking sad.


Conservation groups urged the Prime Minister (Picture: Getty).

Boris Johnson has been urged to make a series of New Year’s resolutions that tackle the climate crisis.

Leading conservation charities have written to the Prime Minister about how to ease the environmental emergency engulfing the natural world – and put forward a series of possible solutions.

He was instructed to restore peatland quicker, bring forward the ban peat in horticulture and increase ocean protection, particularly by giving seagrass high protection status.

The National Trust, RSPB and Woodland Trust as well as Wildlife Trusts urged Johnson to ensure that the new payment system for farmers encourages natural and climate-friendly agriculture. They also asked Johnson to increase tree planting with largely native trees in the appropriate places.

The seven resolutions also require that the network protected sites be large enough and properly managed to protect both nature and the carbon within them.

The organisations welcomed the Government’s commitment to restore 30% of land, sea and water for nature by 2030. However, they warned that only 3% can be considered as being specifically protected for nature.

The groups also support a new requirement in public decision making that takes into account future climate risks, when communities and landscapes must adapt to the impacts.

Many environmentalists feel that US President Joe Biden, and Mr Johnson, are not doing enough to address climate change. (Picture: Getty Images).

Restoring all peatlands – the UK’s largest natural carbon sink and a key wildlife habitat which is currently emitting carbon because of its degraded state – would save far more than it would cost, the groups argue.

They also want the Government to bring forward a long-promised ban on the use of peat in horticulture ‘as a matter of urgency’ and immediately ban burning upland peat.

They want renewed commitments to protect the oceans, such as salt marshes, and to curb fishing that harms the seabed and releases CO2.

It follows a series o pledges made at the Cop26 climate negotiations in Glasgow in November. These organisations want the Government and Government to continue the work they have started.

Craig Bennett, chief executive officer of the Wildlife Trusts said that 2022 should be the year where the Government renews its commitments and invests in a healthier future for humans and nature.

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A devastated dad pays tributes to his son, who was found dead on New Years Eve

‘There’s still a huge gulf between rhetoric and reality to tackle climate change.

‘We urgently need to cut carbon emissions deeper and faster and ensure nature recovers across across 30% of land and sea by the end of the decade.’

Dr Darren Moorcroft, chief executive of the Woodland Trust, added: ‘For nature and climate, 2022 will be just as critical as 2021 was.

‘We need the UK to show real leadership in the major international conferences on climate and biological diversity.

‘To back this up, all parts of the UK need to deliver decisive action, setting clear targets to restore nature, and working with land managers to create tree-rich resilient landscapes for people, nature and carbon.’

National Trust director general Hilary McGrady branded Cop26 ‘a real watershed moment’ in the fight against the nature and climate crises, but also warned the UK had seen the impact extreme weather events such as Storm Arwen had on the country’s landscapes.

‘This is why we are today calling on the Prime Minister to build on the pledges made at Cop26 and commit to a series of New Year resolutions to nature that ensure our natural defences against climate change are protected and nurtured in 2022 and beyond,’ she warned.

A Government spokesperson said they were ‘absolutely committed’ to tackling climate change.

They added: ‘We are taking action to limit rising temperatures, with new pledges to cut carbon and methane emissions, end deforestation, phase out coal and provide more finance to countries most vulnerable to climate change.’

The spokesperson said England’s new Sustainable Farming Incentive would reward land managers for using more environmentally friendly farming practices, while the Government was also consulting on plans to phase out the use of peat in the horticulture sector, and was promoting sustainable management of peat habitats.

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More: Climate activists share 10 simple environmental solutions to make 2022 a reality’s #Just1Change campaign

During COP26We will share stories and ideas about one common theme throughout the year, as well as advice and tips, beyond.

We want to provide content that will inform, educate, and inspire in a time where environmental issues are so overwhelming.

Here are some of our favorites #Just1ChangeHighlights so far:


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