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Sevenoaks Council - Are we doing enough to adapt to climate change?

February 16, 2020 11:47 AM
Originally published by Liberal Democrats in Sevenoaks, Dartford and Gravesham

David Finch

Adapting to climate change is no solution to preventing further global temperature rise, but it has become a necessity in the world we live in. There are obviously limits to our capacity to adapt and we must be honest about it.

For example, rising sea levels can only be managed for a limited time before large areas of low lying land become submerged. This includes areas of Kent; the Isle of Thanet will be an island again, and the oysters may take over Whitstable.

Are we doing enough to adapt to climate change? The answer is "no", as shown by the flooding in the north east of England in November 2019.

So, how can we adapt to climate change locally, and more importantly, how can we work to prevent it?

We believe the first step is to consult and plan for the future. Local Liberal Democrat councillors helped shape the Town Council's response to climate change as the central theme of the Sevenoaks Neighbourhood plan. The priority is to halt climate change.

We want everyone to help shape and develop the plan. Please get involved now consultation is under way. Check the plan at https://sevenoaksndp.wordpress.com/consultation/

Some of the key areas we need to consider regarding climate change adaptation are;

- Flood defences and water management, particularly in the flood plain of the river Darent.

- Protecting vulnerable, particularly elderly people from heat waves.

- Saving our indigenous wildlife which is under pressure from increasingly extreme weather events.

- Changing farming practices and crop selection to limit the impact of climate change on food production.

Humanity faces huge challenges in preventing further global temperature rise. We want Sevenoaks to play its part in tackling climate change and making the world a better and safer place for our children and grandchildren.

David Finch