The Wildlife Trusts will send a direct message to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, urging him to deliver a positive and far-reaching agreement at the UN Copenhagen Climate Change Summit in December.
The message, in the form of a large postcard signed by all 47 Wildlife Trusts, will be delivered by a representative of the leading conservation organisation.
The postcard reads:
Please secure a positive and far-reaching climate change agreement in Copenhagen – we, and our wildlife, depend upon it.
Our 47 Wildlife Trusts around the UK have a combined membership of nearly 800,000. We all care deeply about the future of our natural environment, on land and at sea, especially in a changing climate.
The impact of climate change on people and the natural environment – upon which we all depend – is predicted to be dramatic. We need to take a positive step towards a legal agreement to reduce greenhouse gases by 40% by 2020. The Conference must recognise the role of natural ecosystems, such as forests and peatlands, in storing carbon. This is vital for us all.
"We are putting far too much pressure on our planet which is already having devastating impacts on both people and the natural world that we depend on," said Paul Learoyd, chief executive of Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, which has 25,000 members.
"We know this is a global problem, but the UK Government is in a position to take a lead on this, and to show other nations what can be achieved. We would urge the Government to commit to a 40% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020. Decisive, deliberate, and dynamic action needs to be taken on this, before it’s too late for wildlife and for people."
The Wildlife Trusts across the UK are raising awareness of the threat climate change poses to people and the natural environment, and working to help protect wildlife from the impacts of climate change. People can sometimes feel helpless in the face of such a huge challenge, but The Wildlife Trusts believe that by empowering communities and inspiring people to take action locally for their natural environment, they can help contribute to the global cause. For example, volunteers are vital to identifying the most important roadside verges for limestone grassland wildlife in south-west Lincolnshire and Rutland for the Life on the Verge project. Already, local people have surveyed 260km of road verge. One of the most exciting discoveries is of a 12.5km stretch of road with wildflower-rich verges that links three Sites of Special Scientific Interest and five Roadside Nature Reserves. Corridors like this will be critically important in the future; helping wildlife to adapt to a changing climate.
Gary Mantle is the Director of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and will travel to Copenhagen to deliver the postcard on behalf of The Wildlife Trusts. He said: "For the sake of both wildlife and people, we need tough decisions to be taken at Copenhagen. In showing the strong leadership that will be needed, it is important that the UK Government knows that it has strong support from the public. We must not forget that any agreement at Copenhagen is just the start, it must be followed by urgent action. Time is running out."