Natural England - What is Natural England’s role in climate change?

What is Natural England’s role in climate change?

Natural England’s role in climate change is shaped by our purpose to conserve, enhance and manage the natural environment for its intrinsic value and for the benefit of current and future generations, thereby contributing to sustainable development.

Our work aims to increase the capacity of the natural environment to cope with climate change, and support opportunities to mitigate against the causes of climate change. Natural England’s climate change activities are focussed on five key areas:

  • Research: Natural England continues to work with the research community to develop the evidence base required to make the best decisions about protecting and enhancing the natural environment in a changing climate.

    Our priorities include:

    • understanding the factors which promote resilience to climate change
    • evaluating the effectiveness of adaptation measures
    • long term monitoring
    • interpretation of climate change impacts.

    We have also developed the evidence base on carbon sequestration and storage by semi-natural habitats, including peatlands.

  • Mitigation: We are working with partners to develop and implement approaches to protect and enhance soil carbon and peat, particularly through the Environmental Stewardship schemes which we operate. We have successfully taken steps to reduce our own carbon footprint by 50% compared with our 2007 baseline.

  • Vulnerability: We have developed a number of methodologies to assess vulnerability of the natural environment, including ecosystem services to climate change, as well as a detailed risk assessment to Natural England’s objectives under the Climate Change Act (2008) Reporting Power.

  • Adaptation: Natural England has developed principles to guide climate change adaptation and is working with stakeholders and partners to develop practical measures for land management and more urban settings to deliver sustainable adaptation. Our 12 Adaptation pilot studies seek to identify local responses required to safeguard our environment and enjoyment of it.

  • The bee orchid's range may expand © Peter Wakely / Natural England

    Keeping tabs on climate change

    (9 May 2013)  The Living with Environmental Change Partnership published the Terrestrial Biodiversity Climate Change Impacts Report Card today - the first in a series of expert reports designed to inform government, land managers, environmental consultants and researchers about the current evidence on climate change impacts.