The Challenge of Climate Change

In March 2019 Sir David Attenborough’s BBC TV programme ‘Climate Change – The Facts’ was screened. Sir David introduced it by saying “What happens now and in the next few years profoundly affects what happens in the next few thousand.” He continues, “Standing here in the English countryside it may not seem obvious, but we are facing a man-made disaster on a global scale.” The young schoolgirl climate change activist, Greta Thunberg, appears during the introduction, saying, “It’s our future – we can’t just let it slip away from us.”

They are both right – action to tackle climate change needs to be taken – and rapidly, if we are to avert an annually increasing global disaster!  In the UK our own Parliament is now backing the campaign for action:

  • In May 2019 MPs made history by passing a Commons motion to declare an ‘environment and climate change emergency’.
  • In June 2019 The House of Commons unanimously passed legislation to commit the UK to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The Friends of the South Downs have studied what practical measures can be undertaken by members of the public and campaigning organisation like ours to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce all forms of pollution and improve the environment and countryside around us. Also we need to make what we humans do now more sustainable – by using less fossil fuels and by not polluting our countryside, rivers and seas. When new developments take place we should campaign for a zero carbon and pollution impact. We need to work to understand where climate change and pollution can affect our health, the creatures around us, air quality, water supply, coastal seas, soil quality, trees and plants, landscape and countryside and how we can make positive change to reduce our carbon footprint.

Increasing our understanding and by working with local and national government along with a host of other public and private organisations will help advance measures to tackle climate change and reduce pollution.

The Trustees of Friends of the South Downs have launched a strategic approach to tackling climate change:

sterile soil
Sterile soil – taken by Vic Ient, Policy Officer July 2019 in the South Downs National Park

SEEC –  Sustainability, Environment, Education and the Carbon challenge

Under each of these headings we have documented our approach and guide to further action. Also below is a document setting out current National Park and Government policies:

Join with us in our campaign

The friends of the South Downs have had a policy on climate change policy since 2012. It was updated in 2013 and still holds good today. CLICK HERE for a link to that policy document. On this page here you will also find our other policy documents. We are continuing to work to achieve the objectives of our 2012/2013 policy. Our SEEC ‘strategic approach’ detailed in the policy documents above is an amplification of the principles have already laid down.