IPCC report pleads for urgent action to be taken
The publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report on Climate Change has caused a flurry of media attention and anxiety across the globe. The key messages are clear - climate change is widespread, rapid and intensifying.
The IPCC states that it is indisputable that human activity is causing climate change with profound effects for the biosphere. Unfortunately, impacts have grown more quickly than predicted. We have seen the effects here in Avon with extreme heat, heavy rainfall and drought-like conditions all within one season. The report says that 1.5C global warming increase is largely inevitable by 2040 or sooner.
However, if the world manages to achieve global net zero by 2050, it is considered to be extremely likely that global temperature increase can be limited to below 2C. The call to action is clear:
Reduce the emission of greenhouse gases
Governments need to make Net Zero a core part of their commitments to the Paris Agreement
A call for joint action on climate and biodiversity loss
COP26 will be the best change to get agreement to the action needed!
Our new ten year strategy, which is to be launched later this year, sets out clear targets to secure 30% of land and sea for wildlife by 2030 with the joint benefit of increasing biodiversity and fighting climate change by storing more carbon in good-quality habitat. We are also committing more to nature-based solutions - improving and creating new habitats that can remove harmful carbon emissions from the atmosphere as well as increasing the abundance of wildlife across our landscape.
If you want to find more ways that you can help increase the abundance of wildlife and help tackle the climate and ecological emergencies on your doorstep, visit our actions pages on our website.
Badgers in Avon given a reprieve after Government announce the phasing out of culling
Badger culling is set to phase out the next five years as the Government sets out a new phase of their strategy to tackle bovine TB – a disease which causes devastation to farmers and their livelihoods.
Last summer, Avon Wildlife Trust began vaccinating badgers in a pilot programme to tackle the problem of bovine TB in badgers and demonstrate an alternative to the cull policy which has killed 68,000 badgers over the last few years across England. Now, the new Government strategy includes an intention to phase out intensive culls and replace them with government-supported badger vaccination.
The changes will not be immediate and cull licences will still be issued in areas where they are already in place and potentially new areas – including in parts of Avon – but the move is an acknowledgement that culling wild badgers is not a viable long-term strategy.
Ian Barrett, Avon Wildlife Trust Chief Executive, said:
“We are delighted that finally the Government is moving towards a new approach to tackling bovine TB which is humane, cost-effective and joined up. The end of culling is long overdue and has led to the loss of thousands of wonderful wild animals.
Our pilot vaccination programme which began last summer showed a cost-effective and viable alternative to culling. With Government funding promised, we look forward to badger vaccination rolling out right across our region, in partnership with farmers and landowners, who are keen to find solutions to this disease. We are now looking at the detail of this strategy and how the three-pronged approach of badger vaccination, cattle vaccination and better farm biosecurity measures can be scaled up as quickly as possible. We want to ensure that our wild badgers have a flourishing future in a countryside that works for everyone.”
Avon Wildlife Trust’s successfully vaccinated 15 badgers on one site to give them protection from bovine TB and the charity is gearing up to continue this summer to vaccinate last year’s adults and this year’s cubs.