Thursday, 6 March 2008

KENT'S FUTURE: FROM GARDEN OF ENGLAND TO SAHARA

KENT PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Thursday 6th March 2008 - 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF - www.kentgreenparty.org 0845 257 4236 – 01732 355185 – Mobile: 07747 036192

KENT’S FUTURE: FROM GARDEN OF ENGLAND TO SAHARA

Unless there is a significant improvement in action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, South East England will be as dry as the Sahara by 2030. A new report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development does not bode well for Kent, as Kent tends to be the driest part of the South East(1). Steve Dawe comments:
“South East England is more prone to temperature variations and extreme weather events than other parts of the UK, according to research done for Green MEP, Dr Caroline Lucas(2). Climate change has two key effects: putting more moisture in the atmosphere which helps to create more extreme weather events; moving climatic conditions northwards leading longer dry periods. Recent history in Kent reflects this:
“Kent has had a hurricane (1987), exceptional floods (2000) (2007-2008), some of the highest temperatures ever recorded in the UK (for example, 2003), and periods of drought (summer 2003) (April 2007). These have caused enormous variations in the productivity of our critically important agricultural land. We are also at risk with regard to the effects of rising sea levels on our coastline, especially during storm surges and at high tide in the Thames Estuary. KCC’s Transport Plan states:

“Kent is acutely exposed to the likely impacts of climate change given its long coastline, large areas of low-lying land, relatively limited water resources and special landscapes and wildlife.” (3)
The Kent Transport Plan also emphasises the capacity of flooding to disrupt both rail and road networks.
“Energy conservation and renewables need re-launching to the public by councils as progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions has been negligible to date.” Ends c276 words

FURTHER INFORMATION: Steve Dawe on 01732 355185 or 07747 036192. Contact address as above. Steve is a former lecturer in Environmental Policy and is a Speaker for Climate Concern.
Notes:

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development: Environmental Outlook to 2030: http://www.oecd.org/document/20/0,3343,en_2649_37465_39676628_1_1_1_37465,00.html
Caroline Lucas – Living in the South East at http://www.carolinelucasmep.org.uk/framesets/publications.html
Kent Local Transport Plan, Climate Change and wider social and environmental issues - section

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