The Risks we face due to the Climate and Biodiversity Crises
The science couldn’t be clearer: we are facing a climate crisis that threatens the future of life on our planet. An increase in average global temperatures above 1.5C risks major sea level rise, extreme weather and the loss of species and habitats as well as food scarcity and increasing poverty for millions of people worldwide.
We face serious risks right here in East Cambridgeshire, such as more extreme weather affecting our ability to grow crops, as well as heat and droughts causing major infrastructure failure. Sea level rises are already putting strains on our national defences, which is a serious concern considering that large areas of East Cambridgeshire are at, or even below, sea level. Sea levels have already increased 20cm in the past 100 years, and are predicted to rise another 30cm in the next 30 years, all due to climate change.
Widespread biodiversity loss is also a serious risk to our health, wellbeing and economy here in East Cambridgeshire. We need insects to pollinate our crops, whilst beautiful and biodiversity open spaces are a major boost to our health and wellbeing. We live in a global economy, and investors and their employees won't come to East Cambridgeshire if the local natural environment is depleted and unattractive.
We have some fabulous assets and opportunities here in East Cambridgeshire, but we must acknowledge the risks they face and get prepared to tackle those risks.
Adapting to a changing and uncertain future
We know the climate is changing, and we know we have lost significant amounts of biodiversity. We are committed, as a Council, to help minimise that change and help reverse the decline in the natural environment, but we know that will take a long time and a lot of effort to achieve. In the meantime, we must learn to adapt to the change that has happened, and continues to happen, and make sure we as ready as possible to manage the effects of climate change.
That is why, over 2023-24, we are going to prepare a Risk and Adaptation Strategy for East Cambridgeshire, setting out the key risks and challenges we are likely to face due to climate change and biodiversity loss, and what measures we need to put in place to adapt to those changes and manage extreme events. For example, if temperature records are broken again, as they are likely to do, what measures should we put in place to be prepared for those extreme events, in order to protect people, protect livelihoods and protect infrastructure such as water supplies?
If you would like to offer any thoughts on what risks you think East Cambridgeshire faces due to climate change and biodiversity loss, or how best we need to adapt and prepare for climate change, then do let us know via our climate change email address at firstname.lastname@example.org .