The Wildlife Trusts announce senior role for climate action at key moment for the UK

The Wildlife Trusts have created a new role to facilitate greater action on climate change at a key moment as the UK prepares to host the global climate conference later this year.

Kathryn Brown of the UK Government’s independent adviser, the Climate Change Committee, will be seconded to the The Wildlife Trusts as Director for Climate Action for six months beginning in August.

The new appointment comes at a critical time for The Wildlife Trusts who are, collectively, among the largest land managers in the UK who are leading efforts to restore 30% of land for nature by 2030 with a huge range of new and ongoing projects. They are at the forefront of repairing thousands of hectares of peatlands, saltmarsh and other carbon-storing habitats, as well as giving new areas of land a chance to recover for nature – providing vital natural solutions to climate change

Craig Bennett, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts, says:

“Climate change is already having a major impact on the natural world, but its effects will become even more severe unless we are able to cut emissions faster than we have been doing to date. The UK is already known to be one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world – of the G7 countries we are the most impoverished of species and habitats – but climate breakdown will make this bad situation worse.

“The ability of natural habitats to store carbon is well-evidenced and it’s clear that you cannot deal with the nature and climate crises separately – they are inextricably linked. Kathryn Brown’s expertise will be enormously helpful in enabling us to play our part in addressing this twin emergency.

“When peatlands, saltmarshes and other habitats are in good condition, they lock-up carbon – but only 5% of UK land is any good for nature. People’s activities have damaged nature so much that land is now emitting carbon as well as being hostile for wildlife. It’s time to reverse this trend, restore nature and tackle the climate crisis too.”

As Head of Adaptation at the Climate Change Committee, Kathryn Brown provides advice to the Government on climate risks and opportunities, and reports to Parliament on adaptation progress. When she joins The Wildlife Trusts, Kathryn will help the movement of 46 nature charities improve their resilience to climate change, develop a stronger stance on land management issues in addressing climate change and biodiversity loss, and gather expertise and data from all corners of the UK. 

Kathryn Brown

Kathryn Brown says:

“The UK’s natural environment is facing probably its biggest threat yet. As the global climate changes, we are at risk of losing some of our most iconic landscapes and species on land and in the sea. And with them, reductions in the assets and services we all depend on like soil health, water quality and carbon storage.

There is hope of real change in the next 12 months to start reversing biodiversity loss and to slow the impacts of climate change.

“There is hope of real change in the next 12 months to start reversing biodiversity loss and to slow the impacts of climate change. But opportunities still need to be seized through the upcoming UN climate and biodiversity conferences, new UK land management schemes and new government plans for restoring nature, achieving Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change.

“I’m thrilled to be joining The Wildlife Trusts during this crucial time to help them in their work to see that change happen, including demonstrating how it can be done on the ground. Their role has never been more important than it is now.”