This post is by Richard Leafe, chief executive of the Lake District National Park Authority and Rebecca Willis a Green Alliance associate and climate change adviser to the Lake District National Park Authority.
Amid the media fuss surrounding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report last week, there was surprisingly little attention paid to a crucial part of the report. For the first time, the panel estimated how much carbon dioxide we could emit, in total, if global warming is to be restricted to two degrees centigrade. We can’t go beyond 880 gigatonnes, and we’ve already spent 531 of those. So there isn’t much left. As Nick Stern has pointed out, the world has a carbon budget. We can’t spend beyond our means.
All this talk of gigatonnes and global limits is difficult to relate to. What does it mean for me, my family, my local area, my country? Over the past three years, the Lake District has been involved in a fascinating local experiment that tries to answer this question. Read more