Heart-to-heart over climate change at Arundel Wetland Centre
Wildlife workers in Arundel have had a heart-to-heart with their MP about climate change, including discussions about flooding.
Nick Herbert, Arundel and South Downs MP, was invited to Arundel Wetland Centre, where he met staff and volunteers including general manager Tim McGregor and reserve manager Paul Stevens.
The group talked over a cream tea on Friday and Mr Herbert was given an overview of flood resilience and habitat creation work completed in 2017, with some funding from Viridor Credits Environmental Company as part of the Landfill Communities Fund.
Arundel residents who work at the centre attended to discuss local issues like flooding, alternative energy sources, carbon footprints and sustainable drainage systems.
They asked for Mr Herbert’s support to help ensure the UK’s climate targets are strong enough to meet the ambition in the landmark 2015 Paris Climate agreement.
There was discussion about the UK aiming for net zero emissions by 2050, tightening the existing goal to cut greenhouse gases by 80 per cent as other countries have done.
Mr Herbert said: “I’m optimistic about the future. In transport, cars are becoming more and more efficient and we’re moving towards electric cars. Energy is a bigger challenge, we’re a small island that needs a lot of energy and it has to be generated somewhere.”
The event was part of Speak Up Week, in which thousands of people across the country tried to meet with their MPs. From nature walks to church tea parties, events were organised so people of all ages and from all walks of life could make sure politicians see how much constituents care about climate change.
Mr McGregor said: “It was great to have Nick visit and hear his interest in and continued support of local issues around climate change. We were happy to share how we have reduced our carbon footprint by 20 per cent in five years and are eliminating single-use plastics by selling canned water and drinks and giving discounts to visitors who use refillable cups in our cafe.”
Speak Up Week is organised by The Climate Coalition, a group of more than 130 organisations including the WWT, Women’s Institute, Christian Aid, National Trust, WWF, CAFOD and Tearfund. It is part of an ongoing effort to encourage the government to raise carbon emission targets.