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Campaign to Protect Rural England - Climate change lecture and listening event

Today, good urban planning and the prevention of unnecessary sprawl are as important as ever, but there are other threats to the environment that cannot be ignored and none are as potentially devastating as climate change.

The COP21 Paris Agreement's target of preventing the global temperature increase beyond 1.5°C is often highlighted in the media when talking about climate change, but there are few opportunities to hear about the up to date research. 

Therefore CPRE North West was pleased to welcome the Tyndall Centre, the leading organisation in the UK on climate change research, to share their work at a public event held at Friends Meeting House.

The Tyndall Centre combines engineering, scientific and economic evidence and research to look at what the outcomes of climate change are likely to be and how we should respond to them.

The lecture was delivered by Kevin Anderson, who is Professor of Energy and Climate Change at the University of Manchester and has engaged across all tiers of government, advising the Prime Minister's office and contributed to the development of the UK's Climate Change Act 2008.

Kevin has a decade of industrial experience, principally in the petrochemical industry, sits as commissioner on the Welsh Government's Climate Change Commission and is a Director of Greenstone Carbon Management.

It came as no surpirse that Kevin called for urgent prioritisation by all in our global society for real action and change to adhere to carbon budgets associated with the Paris Agreement 2015 and international commitments on climate change that will hold the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

He then warned that due to inaction, efforts to limit the temperature increase was in danger of failing and that this will lead to catastrophic impacts both home and abroad. This frightening scenario still appears to be far from many people's minds yet one that could come sooner than what many first predicted.

Kevin talked about reducing carbon emissions to stop heating the atmosphere, and the role of people, households, investors, businesses, and crucially the need for more action by central Government to honour our national commitments.

He also focused on the role of City Region Mayors and Combined Authorities in driving development that harnesses best available technology. You can download Kevin’s lecture here.

Also in attendance was Louise Marix Evans of Quantum Strategy and Technology Ltd. She ran a 'listening' session to provide material that will be fed into the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s Green Summit in March.

Better integrated transport, local farm food networks, energy and waste demand reduction, investment in the renewable sector, reuse of brownfield to avoid further incursions into natural environments, and harnessing of low carbon technologies in new development were identified as key issues. 

For more information about Greater Manchester's plans to tackle climate change and to find out how you can get involved, visit the Manchester Climate Change website.

Main image: Rochdale Canal at Littleborough, Greater Manchester by Flickr user SurreyKraut using a Creative Commons licence