Climate and Ecological Emergency

Climate and Ecological Emergency

Saltmarsh (c)Terry Whittaker2020VISION

The Wildlife Trust's response to the climate and ecological emergency

We are facing two inextricably linked crises, the climate emergency and the steady decline of nature. We cannot solve one crisis without tackling the other – nature’s recovery is vital for tackling climate change.

Thriving habitats can safely lock up vast amounts of carbon, while providing other vital benefits that help us adapt, such as flood prevention, clean water and improved health and wellbeing.

But nature in the UK is in a damaged, fragmented state. It is much less able to limit or adapt to climate change, and declining habitats such as peatland and saltmarsh are releasing their stored carbon.

Natural solutions to climate change

For decades, Wildlife Trusts up and down the country have been working on the ground to restore nature. We protect and recover important habitats that lock carbon safely away and limit the effects of climate change, including peatland, saltmarsh, fen and woodland.

We’ve also long called for changes in laws and practice that properly protect and restore nature, including a Nature Recovery Network to map, join-up and restore habitats.

In response to the climate crisis, The Wildlife Trusts will:

  • Step up our work to restore vital habitats and natural climate solutions on a landscape scale
  • Call for natural climate solutions and nature’s recovery to be the priority in tackling climate change, such as plans to achieve net zero
  • Continue to push for the creation of a national Nature Recovery Network to restore thriving ecosystems and give wildlife space to adapt
  • Ensure natural solutions are at the heart of local and national decision-making, such as planning, and work to protect them from damaging development and infrastructure projects
  • Work to ensure people of all walks of life can connect with and enjoy nature, for the benefit of our health and wellbeing

Addressing our own footprint

From travel and running our visitor centres, to powering our operations and even our conservation work, we recognise that our activities can have an impact on the climate crisis. We will put in place plans to assess the footprint of all 46 Wildlife Trusts and will set out our ambitions to become carbon neutral – or even carbon negative – as a movement.

What is The Wildlife Trusts' position on the climate strikes?

The Wildlife Trusts fully support people across the UK who feel compelled to demonstrate their concern. We face heartbreak daily as we see the wildlife we love lost time and time again.  As a movement, The Wildlife Trusts stand united with all those who share our belief that nature is valuable in its own right as well as being essential to our existence.

The profile of the crisis we face must be raised.

The Wildlife Trusts work for a Wilder Future every day and can offer powerful natural solutions to the climate and ecological crisis. We will continue to call for an ecological network for nature's recovery in law (a Nature Recovery Network in England and Wales) through our Wilder Future campaign. This network will stop the damage and start to re-build a world in which our fragmented wild places are expanded and reconnected – and make a vital contribution to our shared aims.

The Wildlife Trust in your area will have a host of positive, peaceful and practical ways you can contribute to our planet’s future at this crucial time such as asking your MP to speak up for nature’s recovery. 

Top tips

There are plenty of things that you can do at home to help the environment.

A route to nitrate neutrality for the Solent

The Wildlife Trust has put forward a scheme which could see nitrate pollution in the Solent reduced, with added benefits for local people and wildlife.

Read more

Case studies

Trusts around the UK are already delivering ambitious projects that restore or create habitats that act as natural solutions to the climate emergency. There are a great many examples from the movement, including: