The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
UK must lead climate change fight says Davey
ON THE eve of a ground-breaking report into the impacts of climate change, Energy Secretary Ed Davey has declared that Britain must spearhead the worldwide battle against global warming.
Climate change is “hugely threatening” to life in the UK and globally, he told The Observer, saying that not to lead the fight against it would be “deeply irresponsible”.
Former archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams also spoke of his fears for the global climate, saying the winter flooding was a portent.
Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, he blamed the lifestyle of Western countries for climate change “pushing the environment towards crisis”.
He said the floods in Britain and similar weatherrelated catastrophes around the world are the clearest indications yet that predictions of “accelerated warming of the Earth” caused by the uncontrolled burning of fossil fuels . . . are coming true”.
Their comments come as the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) prepares to release a major report that is expected to warn of catastrophic consequences to food supplies, livelihoods, health and security across the world if climate change is allowed to continue unchecked.
Leaked versions of the report, published in Japan today, warn that rising global temperatures, droughts and heatwaves will threaten food supplies and human health, while hundreds of millions of people will be affected by coastal flooding.
Climate change will cause economic losses, exacerbate poverty and increase migration and risks from violent conflict as well as causing damage to wildlife and habitats, the study by experts from around the world is expected to warn.
In Europe, heatwaves, droughts and heavy rainstorms will increase and there will be a greater risk of coastal and river flooding, it is expected to say, while heatrelated deaths will also increase. The report, which collates work by thousands of scientists from across the planet, is likely to state that global warming has already left its mark on all continents and oceans, and is expected to warn that even a small increase in temperatures could lead to irreversible changes.
Britain has made recent decisions that put the environmental agenda low on its list of priorities, scrapping green levies from energy bills and defeating efforts in Europe to set renewable energy targets for 2030 for each nation, The Observer said.
But Mr Davey, whose portfolio also involves responsibility for climate change, was adamant that climate change sceptics in the Government had been defeated. He said Britain had agreed to slash emissions by 50% by 2030 as part of a global deal.
On Saturday, landmarks in the UK and across the globe switched off their lights for 60 minutes to mark Earth Hour, the World Wildlife Fund campaign to raise environmental awareness.