COP27: National Parks central to combating the threat from climate change

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Media Release  

4th November 2022

COP 27: National Parks central to combating the threat from climate change  

With the United Nations climate change conference COP27 about to begin, Andrew McCloy, Chair of National Parks England, sets out the pivotal role that National Parks in England can play in responding to the climate and nature emergencies we now face. He explains, “The opening of COP27 next week is a reminder that National Parks are ideally placed to lead on society’s response to this unprecedented modern challenge and provide lasting sustainable change. This year we have been working across the National Parks to establish our carbon baselines. We will use these as a starting point to both hold ourselves to account and monitor the effectiveness of our efforts to cut emissions, including ambitious targets for land use, land cover change and forestry.”

Pioneering projects such as Moors for the Future, an ambitious and large-scale conservation partnership reversing centuries of peatland erosion in the Peak District and Pennines, are making a real difference to carbon storage, flood defences and biodiversity.

Covering 10% of Britain and welcoming over 100 million visitors a year, National Parks are well placed to promote positive lifestyle messages around sustainable tourism and the benefits of low carbon holidays. In addition, National Parks are looking to embed their net zero vision by using their planning powers to deliver highly sustainable homes and raise the bar in terms of design and build standards.

However, National Parks need adequate central support to achieve this vital goal, according to Andrew McCloy. “Significant Government focus and resources are urgently needed to up-scale and increase the number of projects to deliver National Parks’ vision of net zero. National Parks provide practical solutions to bring about meaningful change and demonstrate that environment, farming and economy can go hand in hand. If we can’t make this happen in protected landscapes like National Parks, then there is little chance of success elsewhere."

ENDS

Notes to editors

For further information please contact: National Parks England - enquiries@nationalparksengland.org.uk

About National Parks England

National Parks England brings together English National Park Authorities to provide a strong, collective and expert voice at a national level. We shape policy by drawing on our extensive experience, facilitating discussion, sharing knowledge, cultivating partnerships, and testing innovative solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing society.

Download the NPE Climate Leadership delivery plan

Information about the Moors for the Future project can be found here

For details about some of the other innovative projects across the National Parks, see our report published in March 2022: National Parks – supporting people, places, climate and nature

For more information on the UK’s fifteen National Parks, visit: www.nationalparks.uk