Storrington Conservation Society – January 2024 Newsletter

How many of us have made new year resolutions? If we have, how many of them are concerned with climate change and caring for the environment? If they are, we may well have been prompted by the wild and unusually mild weather at the end of the year.

By now, for many of us, COP28 last year is a fading memory, for some it has not been of any interest at all. Yet it is a vital matter for everyone. The agreement published at the end of COP28 (which finished with an extra all night session in order to reach the agreement) included a welcome commitment to transition away from fossil fuels. Disappointingly, the OPEC group would not agree to saying such fuels should be phased out. While it is encouraging to see fossil fuels belatedly mentioned for the first time in nearly thirty years, it is worth noting that a record number of fossil fuel lobbyists attended COP28 in Dubai and its chairman publicly affirmed a future for gas and oil. Refreshingly honest!

Another positive outcome was the setting up of a Loss and Damage Fund to compensate countries vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The vulnerable include communities in low lying islands which will be totally displaced, and those living in drought devastated areas. As with the funding by wealthy nations to help developing countries to decarbonise, The Fund is inadequate.

While currently countries such as China, India and the US are the biggest producers of greenhouse gasses, figures show historically the UK is the fourth highest emitter of such gasses. We have to accept responsibility and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels; it is in our interests as climate change is a major cause of loss of nature in the UK.

So while COP28 produced some positives we need to remember that commitments made at previous COPs have not been fulfilled. For example, the reduction of methane emissions agreed in Glasgow at COP26 in 2021 has not happened. It is up to us to put pressure on our representatives to ensure commitments at COP28 are carried out.

Now back to those new year resolutions; they ought to include our conservation of nature and our action to reduce our personal carbon footprint. As with many resolutions we may fail occasionally to keep them, but if we know they are important, we will not give up on them.

On 16th December further birch sapling clearance was carried out on Chantry Hill. Our task on 6th January was river clearance and shrub management in Fryern Dell, part of the agreed conservation plan. We meet again on 3rd February at 10.00am at Hurston Warren (near the golf club). Join us for clearance of scrub to aid the recovery of the heathland. Everyone is welcome to take part and enjoy a coffee break. Share transport to help the environment.

For information about this and our other activities, or on becoming a member, or offering advice, please get in touch with Chairman Mick Denness on 01903 745971, or see our website.

Submitted to the Storrington Community Website using the News Item contact form.

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