• Nature - at the heart of climate change action?

    Monday, 26 November was a big day for the UK’s climate change world.  New climate change projections were launched by the Met Office, giving us much more detail about the new weather world we are already starting to live in.  Michael Gove focused on the seriousness of climate change in a wide-ranging speech.  And there were celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the Climate Change Act, with powerful words from Lord…

    • 27 Nov 2018
  • New report heralds vital role for nature in tackling climate change

    Melanie Coath, RSPB Senior Policy Officer, Sustainable Development 

    Today the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has published a landmark report on the critical role nature can play in the UK in addressing the threat of climate change and also helping us and nature adapt to a warming world.

    The report comes at a critical time. We have a once in a generation opportunity, as we leave the EU and particularly the Common Agricultural…

    • 15 Nov 2018
  • Windfarms are all over the news, but can they be built all over our land and seas?

    Last week, a survey suggested that two thirds of people want to see the current onshore wind policy restrictions removed. Perhaps surprising to some, this is music to our ears here at the RSPB. UK Government is failing to encourage a low-cost low-carbon energy solution that is supported by the public and which has the potential to be wildlife-friendly. At the same time it is driving ahead with potentially more damaging…
    • 26 Jul 2018
  • Sanderlings struggling with snow - and you can help

    Jeroen Reneerkens studies how temperatures affect breeding success of sanderlings in Greenland. Together with other researchers, he’s noted both steadily increasing summer temperatures at the Zackenberg study site and witnessed almost no sanderlings breeding this summer.

     


    A sanderling in the long-term study in Greenland. Photo: Jeroen Reneerkens

    The warming Arctic summers are creating a mismatch in timing…

    • 12 Jul 2018
  • WLTM ... an alternative to peat

     

    Easter - when we visit the garden centre and buy compost for our plants. Peat composts come with a heavy environmental price - for nature and for climate change. This guest blog from Plantlife tells you more...

     

    ISO low maintenance, trustworthy, economical

    and good all round bedding fellow.

    Must like begonias, freesias and tomatoes.

    No time wasters. No peat.

                                    

    Spring 2018

     

    • 30 Mar 2018
  • A shift towards a wildlife friendly energy transition across Europe?

    By Alice Collier, Policy Officer

    Following last week’s bad news, we promised some good news. A bit of #MondayMotivation is in order!

    Last Wednesday, whilst making some seriously misguided decisions on bioenergy, the European Parliament did recognised that more coherence is needed between Europe’s energy development priorities and nature protection concerns. A number of important measures were included in the Clean…

    • 22 Jan 2018
  • Two missed opportunities to protect the world's forests

    Sadly, 17 Jan 2018 will go down in my memory as a series of missed opportunities to protect the world’s forests.
    The UK and the EU currently rely heavily on burning wood to generate ‘renewable’ energy. But burning millions of tonnes of trees every year is actually bad news for the climate. It sends carbon dioxide straight up into the atmosphere at around the same rate as coal, sometimes at an even higher…
    • 18 Jan 2018
  • Reflections on the UN's climate change conference from NatureFiji-MaregetiViti

    By Siteri Tikoca MSc, Conservation Officer, NatureFiji-MareqetiViti

    Towards the end of September, 2017 I was offered an opportunity to be part of the UNFCCC COP23 meeting as the Pacific representative representing NatureFiji-MareqetiViti (NFMV) as part of the Birdlife International partnership. With support from our Birdlife International UK partner, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), I was able to…

    • 20 Dec 2017
  • Swamp farming comes to Britain?

    The situation with climate change is so tight that, if we want to achieve the Paris target of 1.5 Celsius average global temperature (and we must), we need to bring land management into the frame of action, and do so urgently.

    Peatlands in the UK leak huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere – 16 million tonnes of CO2e every year, the same as half the national GHG savings we make. This is because,…

    • 1 Dec 2017
  • Slow progress, good mood, natural solutions for climate change at Bonn CoP

    From John Lanchbery  RSPB Climate Change Principal Policy Officer

    For the last two weeks I have been at the UN climate talks in Bonn – known in the jargon as COP 23.  It is the first COP with a small island country as president: Fiji.  Unfortunately the meeting could not be held in Fiji simply because it is too small to house the tens of thousands of people who come to these meetings nowadays and it is a very long…

    • 20 Nov 2017
  • Busy, busy, busy for BirdLife at the UN climate talks

    UNFCCC COP kicked off this week. John Lanchbery our Principal Policy Officer reports on the activities from the first couple of days….

    The climate COP in Bonn started as all COPs do for environment and development groups - with a six-hour strategy session on Sunday afternoon.  We had a very good turnout for the session on agriculture, forestry and other land use – getting on for 50 people which must be a record…

    • 8 Nov 2017
  • Harmful biofuels given fresh lease of life by new Government target

    A changing climate is one of the greatest threats to our wildlife, and we’re already seeing effects in Europe. A couple of weeks ago scientists confirmed that it is possible to achieve the ambitious aim, set in the Paris Agreement, of holding temperature rises to 1.5 degrees. But we’ll need faster and deeper emissions cuts than countries have so far promised, as the UN warned yesterday.

    The UK is far from…

    • 1 Nov 2017
  • Key new research identifies potential for collision between windfarms and biodiversity unless we plan carefully

    There’s no denying that renewable energy development will always have some level of impact on the natural world. But the key to a sustainable future is identifying how to generate the energy we need with the least impact so that we can avoid contributing to the biodiversity crisis while trying to resolve the climate crisis.

    There is, thankfully, a global consensus that we must move away from fossil fuels to significantly…

    • 27 Sep 2017
  • A few days left to add your support for our wildlife

    Jim Densham, Senior Policy Officer RSPB Scotland

     ‘Harvey is what climate change looks like’ - shouted media headlines recently, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/08/28/climate-change-hurricane-harvey-215547 highlighting that the impacts of climate change are happening here and now, not a future threat. ‘Kittiwake chick starvation is what climate change looks like’ or ‘capercaillie dying out is what…

    • 19 Sep 2017
  • Renewable costs are falling fast, so why is the Government still supporting risky and costly fracking?

    The UK Government has today announced a new set of contracts that it’s awarding to support renewable energy technologies. The price offered to offshore wind has fallen by around half compared to 2015. This demonstrates how substantially the cost of renewable energy has fallen over recent years. Offshore wind is becoming very cost competitive compared to fossil fuel technologies.

    Offshore wind turbine, rspb-images…

    • 11 Sep 2017
  • Climate change - what does it mean for birds?

    By Matt Williams and Melanie Coath

    Climate change can pose real challenges to wildlife. Here we explore a bit about how birds are affected, what the RSPB is doing, and one simple thing you can do to help.

    Seeing an osprey fly south over my garden a few days ago, I realised that autumn migration is well underway for many of our birds. I can’t help but wonder what difficulties that osprey and other birds will encounter…

    • 30 Aug 2017
  • Aviation, fracking, bioenergy: three sectors that could break the UK carbon budgets

    By Ananya Mukherjee and Matt Williams

    Our colleagues Olly Watts and Melanie Coath recently wrote about the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) latest progress reports. These annual reports set out the Committee’s assessment of how the UK is doing in tackling emissions and preparing for the impacts of climate change.

    This blog focuses on three specific areas covered in the reports: fracking, aviation and…

    • 23 Aug 2017
  • An end to fossil fuel vehicles in the UK by 2040: a policy heading in the right direction, but is it at the right speed?

    Yesterday we heard the welcome news that the Government intends to end the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles in the UK. Make no mistake, the end of sales of fossil fuel vehicles is a good thing. But the plans have received short shrift from groups concerned about air pollution.

    What does the announcement mean for the climate, and for nature, though? The news came hot on the heels of a similar announcement by the French…

    • 27 Jul 2017
  • Not just for scientists: using climate change projections

    I’m working with the Met Office on new climate change projections for the UK, due next spring. A version of this post appeared in the project team’s newsletter.

    Nature – the animals and plants which provide the setting and powerhouse for our own lives - is beset by a range of impacts from climate change.  A climate signal has been widespread across nature in the UK for some 30 years now, and I work to…

    • 24 Jul 2017
  • Buying an electric car: our journey to helping the climate

    By Naomi Goody (Sustainable Development Adminstrator) and Matt Goody 

    With additional research by James Stephenson (work experience student) and Matt Williams (Climate Change Policy Officer).

    There’s nothing quite like feeling ahead of the curve, which is how we felt a few weeks ago when we bought an electric car. This was followed by a string of announcements about the bright future and new support for electric vehicles…

    • 18 Jul 2017
  • A new Climate Change Bill for Scotland: our hopes

    By Rebecca Bell, Senior Policy Officer.

    Last week the Scottish Government launched a consultation (https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/energy-and-climate-change-directorate/climate-change-bill) on a new Climate Change Bill, to bring Scotland’s climate change targets in line with the Paris Agreement.

    The 2009 Climate Change (Scotland) Act (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2009/12/contents) was a ground-breaking piece…

    • 6 Jul 2017
  • Solar independence day!

    By Melanie Coath, Senior Policy Officer

    Today is solar independence day! This is the UK’s annual solar celebration showcasing solar homes, solar schools, commercial solar rooftops and solar farms. You can read more about it on the Solar Trade Association’s website.

    While it is true that we are not yet independent of fossil fuels and there is still a long way to go, you may have seen reports that last month nearly…

    • 4 Jul 2017
  • Committee on Climate Change progress reports: maintaining success requires clear plans and policy

    By Olly Watts and Melanie Coath, Senior Policy Officers.

    There was a curious mix of optimism and the urgency to do more, at the launch of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) Report to Parliament on reducing emissions and preparing for climate change.

    It was good to hear members of the Committee talk positively about the current situation. Minister Claire Perry was upbeat and strong: the world does still look to the…

    • 1 Jul 2017
  • We oppose a new opencast coal mine in England on climate grounds

    In April this year, we saw the groundbreaking headlines ‘British power generation achieves first ever coal-free day’. For the first time since the Industrial Revolution, the UK power network didn’t need any coal. This milestone is part of the inevitable trajectory towards coal coming off the UK power grid entirely in the next few years. Coal is one of the dirtiest forms of energy production used in the UK in terms…

    • 16 Jun 2017
  • The winds of change: UK renewables set record, but not without dirty bioenergy

    The winds of change have certainly blown hard this week, hard enough in fact that on Wednesday they helped to set a new record for renewable energy. National Grid was able to report that wind, nuclear and solar power combined had produced more electricity than fossil fuels combined, for the first ever time.

    This was a landmark moment, and is perhaps the mirror image of other recent headlines marking the rapid demise…

    • 10 Jun 2017