Greens in Kent have spent about thirty years promoting policy measures to prevent climate change. Kent Green Party now accepts that these measures have been inadequate in Kent, in the UK and globally. Whilst these efforts must not cease, it is now time to admit that Kent and Medway are going to have to adapt to the effects of climate change because of limited progress to date. Dr Geoff Meaden(1) explains:
“Kent Green Party has spent about 30 years stressing the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions from homes, businesses, transport and the public sector. Since progress here, and in both the UK and internationally has been very limited, we now face the prospect of a global temperature rise of up to 6 degrees centigrade (2). This would fundamentally change the coastline, climate, agriculture and countryside of Kent.
“Originally, it was hoped to keep the rise in global temperatures to just 2 degrees centigrade relative to 1990. This would raise sea level by a metre, with Canterbury acquiring an estuary, Thanet being partially cut off from Kent and severe effects upon Romney Marsh-Dungeness and the Medway river valley. However, with a 6 degree increase looking quite possible, then much larger increases in sea level can be expected. With a colleague, I have prepared a series of maps showing in one metre steps how sea level rise would dramatically change the coastline of Kent (3). A detailed report outlining the many adaptations that must be made in Kent following the consequences of climate change, is available under 'publications' at www.kentgreenparty.org (4).”
FURTHER INFORMATION: Dr Geoff Meaden on 01227 752275. Contact address as above. Alternative contact: Steve Dawe on 07747 036192 or 01732 355185. KENT GREEN NEWS, free monthly ezine, is available at www.kentgreenparty.org Published by Kent Green Party and promoted by H.Dawe, both at 27, Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF.
a.Dr Geoff Meaden is Principal Lecturer Emeritus in Biogeography, formerly of Canterbury Christchurch University. His specialities include the physical geography of Kent and fisheries.
b.This is the view of the International Energy Agency: Envoys at the climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, set a goal to contain global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) since the 19th century. Pledges made so far, which aren’t legally binding, are insufficient, according to the IEA. “With current policies in place, global temperatures are set to increase 6 degrees Celsius, which has catastrophic implications.”
c.Available on request from firstname.lastname@example.org
d.Adaptation to Climate Change in Kent.