The first UK-wide citizens’ assembly on climate change, Climate Assembly UK, has published its final report, setting out a clear, internally consistent and timely path for how the UK can reach its legally binding target of net zero emissions by 2050.
Six Select Committees of the House of Commons commissioned the citizens’ assembly to understand public preferences on how the UK should tackle climate change because of the impact these decisions will have on people’s lives.
Climate Assembly UK has handed its work back to the committees with their final report. The path to net zero issues strong calls to Parliament and the Government to rise to the challenge of achieving the net zero target in a clear, accountable way.
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New research from the University of Leeds has found that the shorter lifespan of faster-growing trees will add to the climate crisis.
Some fast-growing trees, including conifer species in cold regions, have long been known to show shorter lifespans, but what was not known was the impact of warmer conditions that can spur growth as global heating accelerates. An international team of researchers, publishing their work in the peer-review journal Nature Communications, has found that the relationship between faster growth and shorter lifespan appears to hold good across tree species and latitudes.
However, growing trees, and preserving existing forests, remains “one of the most important ways of staving off the worst impacts of the climate crisis”. The multiple benefits of trees were also cited in the water industry’s commitment to plant 11 million trees by 2030.
More worryingly, an estimated 1.2 billion people could be displaced by 2050, as the climate crisis and a growing population drive increasing migration, according to a new analysis by the Institute for Economics and Peace. The think-tank produces annual global terrorism and peace indexes and has now turned its hand to its first ecological threat register. Its analysis found that 31 countries are not sufficiently resilient to withstand ecological threats, such as natural disasters, water and food shortages. “Ecological threats pose serious challenges to global peace,” the institute’s founder said.