The countryside is key to tackling the climate emergency

8th July 2020

CPRE’s new report, ‘Greener, better, faster: countryside solutions to the climate emergency and for a green recovery’, sets out the charity’s vision for an enhanced countryside leading the way in mitigating the climate emergency, at a point in time where recovery from the coronavirus pandemic makes it necessary for us to reconsider our priorities.

We believe that the countryside is key to tackling the climate emergency and provides many of the solutions to addressing climate breakdown. ‘Greener, better, faster’ sets out how the government can best achieve this and recommends:

Farming: Introduce an action plan for the land use sector to rapidly re-wet and restore peatland, expand woodland and agroforestry, drive uptake of agroecological practices to boost soil health and drive down emissions from inefficient use of synthetic nutrients;
Hedgerows: Invest in the restoration and planting of England’s hedgerows, to achieve at least a 40% increase in their length by 2050;
Planning and building: Radically tighten up building regulations to ensure that new buildings meet zero carbon standards. Existing buildings should also meet zero carbon standards in terms of heat and space;
Energy: Invest in a new generation of renewables, including solar, wind and hydro that are strategically planned at the national, sub-regional and local levels. This should be done in a way that benefits the rural economy, forming a cornerstone of local enterprise and jobs; is supported by or owned by local communities; brings net benefits to wildlife; and minimises impacts on landscape, tranquillity and cultural heritage and;
Transport: Divert £27 billion planned road spend to a ring-fenced rural transport fund to support low carbon public transport services for rural communities that need to be better connected.

Download the report here:

Countryside near Slaidburn Becca Nelson
Quernmore landscape