Responding to climate change
We need to take action to combat climate
change - and we need to take it now. But what actions should
we take to deal with this complex issue?
There are two, complementary, ways of dealing with climate
- We can try to reduce the things that cause the
change - mitigation.
- We can adapt to the effects of the
Tackling the cause
We can try to stabilise and reduce the concentrations of carbon
dioxide and other greenhouse gases that cause climate change
in the atmosphere. Reducing emissions is the most important
way of reducing the extent and effects of climate change. This is
known as mitigation.
International agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol address this
issue. To be successful, however, we have to make these
agreements a reality at a local or community level. CCW is leading
by example in reducing its own energy consumption and is also
encouraging others to live in a more sustainable way.
Planting trees that lock up carbon dioxide and protecting major
sources of carbon such as blanket bogs can also help, but only in a
Adapting to the effects
Even the most optimistic scenarios predict at least 40 years of
significant climate change - and that's if we manage to control
global emissions successfully. In reality, the rate of
world-wide emissions of carbon dioxide is rising at a greater rate
than any time in the past.
Significant environmental changes are inevitable. So we need to
adapt our policies for nature conservation, landscape protection
Response: raising awareness
We need to raise awareness of climate change and its effects
both within CCW itself and outside.
We have held seminars and training on climate change. We have
held a Climate Change Audit which has given us an idea of how much
we know about climate change and what is being done at the moment
to respond to it. We are now developing recommendations and actions
for the future.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the issue of climate change.
But making small changes in our day-to-day lives at home and at
work really can make a difference.
We need to raise awareness throughout Wales – amongst the public
in general and within other agencies.
Response: Cutting back on emissions
We are working hard to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within
our organisation as a way of controlling climate change.
How we are cutting back
Much of this work is managed through our Environmental
We are also working towards the Green Dragon Level 5 award. This
will recognise our substantial efforts at controlling the amount of
energy we use and the other “green” measures we have introduced,
such as recycling.
We have also developed Carbon Management Action Plans, in
partnership with the Carbon Trust. These set out targets and energy
efficiency measures for our organisation.
Response: keeping an eye on the changes
CCW , working with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH),
has been reviewing the information that’s available on climate
change in Wales and we have established a unique data base drawing
knowledge from many agencies across Wales.
- The data base contains around 200 sets of
- It shows what gaps there are in the information about climate
change in Wales.
- It will also help us decide how to collect information about
the effect of changes in climate in the future.
Response: helping the countryside to resist
Our main aim is to develop measures and policies to make the
countryside more resilient to climate change.
CCW works with the Convention on Biological Diversity and the
European Climate Change Programme.
In the UK
We work closely with colleagues in a wide range of agencies to
develop policies based on evidence about climate change.
We have been working with the Environment Agency and the
University of Bangor to look at a range of policies such as
agri-environment schemes and protected sites and how effective they
are when faced with climate change.
A case study has been held in the Usk Valley to see how the
Welsh countryside and rural economy can become more resilient to