The National Parks are major stores for carbon that is locked up in peatland, moors, woodland, meres and fens. Peat soils alone in the National Parks contain 199 megatons of carbon. That is the equivalent of England's entire carbon dioxide emissions for one year. The National Parks will also be affected by climate change because of emissions already released into the atmosphere. Learning what these changes will be and how they can be managed will be key to adapting to climate change.
The National Parks in England aim to be places known for being pivotal to the transformation to a low carbon society. That includes through protecting and increasing stores of carbon, such as in peat and woodlands; improving the resilience of priority wildlife habitats; and reducing energy use and increasing small scale renewable energy production. Our approach to promoting low carbon farming and sustainable transport will also help.
We also need to ensure that new energy infrastructure promotes a transition to low carbon and respects the sensitive National Park environments. This includes from renewable energy projects and the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing.