Tag: biodiversity

Yesterday was Earth Day – was it also the day we really began to tackle the climate emergency?

Earth Day is now in its 51st year. If Donald Trump had gained a second term, it would have probably gone unnoticed in the Capitol yesterday. But Joe Biden is now leading America and he used the occasion to host an international summit and announce deep cuts in carbon emissions. Pledges came in from leaders across the world. Boris Johnson got his pennyworth in earlier announced that he will set in law “world’s most ambitious climate change target”, cutting emissions by 78 per cent by 2035 compared to 1990 levels in pursuit of zero carbon by 2050. Admirable stuff. More important than the headline figure is that the UK’s Carbon Budget will incorporate our share of international aviation and shipping emissions, which each contribute three to four per cent each to global warming. Are we turning the corner at last in getting the political commitments we need to drive the business and societal changes needed to tackle climate change? Maybe.

We can’t solve climate change and biodiversity loss without solving planning – a view from the grass roots

I am writing from the heart following a battering few years trying to protect biodiversity landscapes from new developments and to get sustainable transport written into housing and supermarket schemes. On biodiversity, all we have got from developments in my expanding rural town is tokenism. Replacement trees within manicured landscapes. Not the untidy scrubby bits of landscape that are or will become biodiversity rich. On sustainable transport, the car remains king. There are no plans for bus routes to serve four major housing developments. The out of town supermarket, with the backing of councillors and planners, doesn’t even have a bus stop. The planning system is working against our national and international ambitions to enrich biodiversity and tackle the climate emergency.

We are losing trees and biodiversity in and around Ludlow (2) – Fishmore Quarry

In my previous article, I railed against the planning system which serves us badly when it comes to protecting and enhancing biodiversity. In this article, I look in more detail at the Fishmore Quarry housing development where the one of Ludlow’s richest areas of biodiversity has been bulldozed. It is far from clear whether the tree and shrub clearance is within current planning consents, though the developer insists it is. What is clear is that technical changes to this scheme have led to a significant loss of biodiversity. One of the biggest losses we have seen in Ludlow. We can’t keep allowing this. We should not have allowed it here. Biodiversity can’t be instantly replaced by scattering seeds or planting quicks and saplings. Biodiversity areas take decades to mature. We must change the way we assess planning applications to ensure this doesn’t keep happening.

We are losing trees and biodiversity in and around Ludlow (1) – it’s a failure of the planning system

Foldgate Lane. Rocks Green. Fishmore Quarry. Just three of the development sites where trees, hedges and scrubland have been the victims of recent work as development in Ludlow accelerates. There is a lot of anger around Ludlow and Ludford. Why are we losing so much biodiversity? Where have things gone wrong? The primary fault lies in the planning system. It assumes that the destruction caused by bulldozing and chain saws can be replaced by planting schemes. The system doesn’t understand that biodiversity takes decades to emerge. And that it happens randomly. Biodiversity is a real scruff and that is why biodiversity works. It is the bugs and beasties as well as the tatty shrubs, along with the good looking trees that keep our world healthy. Most biodiversity is not protected in our planning system and many planning decisions seem blind to the destruction being caused. We must give far more respect and importance to biodiversity when we decide planning applications.

Shropshire councillors must support the Climate and Ecological Emergency bill tomorrow

Shropshire Council has given a commitment to tackle the climate emergency. In parliament, a private members bill is moving towards its second reading next month. It aims to strengthen the government’s resolve and actions to tackle the growing climate emergency and the devasting loss of biodiversity. A motion tomorrow will ask the council to support the bill. It will be a test of Shropshire Council’s resolve. Is it up to the mark on tackling the climate and ecological emergencies? Will the whipped Tory majority reject it? Council leader Peter Nutting is in the camp that wants to fudge climate change commitments. But his portfolio holder Dean Carroll has a stronger belief in the need for change. It is over to Dean to deliver tomorrow.

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