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Gloucestershire Business News

Cotswolds put climate at heart of council decisions

Cotswold District Council has declared an ecological emergency, putting ecological issues at the heart of its actions

By declaring an ecological or nature emergency the council is acknowledging the huge declines in species, habitats and natural capital over the last hundred years.

One in seven UK species is at risk of extinction and since the 1930s, 97 per cent of the UK's ancient wildflower meadows have been destroyed with a 76 per cent decline in flying insects since 1990.

Councillor Rachel Coxcoon, cabinet member for climate change, said: "Climate change is putting further pressure on biodiversity and loss of biodiversity is helping to drive climate change, so the two are inextricably linked.

"To address the ecological emergency and to help reverse it, we will prioritise our work to deliver a wide range of actions to help drive biodiversity and green initiatives in the Cotswolds.

"We will take a leadership role on the ecological emergency and natural recovery in the district by working with, influencing and inspiring partners across the county and South West region to help deliver nature recovery."

The council has developed an ecological emergency action plan to guide the way towards nature recovery in the district.

Doug Hulyer, chairman of the Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership, said: "Biodiversity and natural capital are the backbones for all activity - economic, social and natural.

"They provide vital services to society but are under threat from the twin challenges of land-use change and climate change.

"It is vital we act swiftly to put nature at the heart of decision-making, and the declaration of an ecological emergency is a bold step in that direction."

Councillor Richard Morgan, leader of the opposition Conservative group, said they were happy to support the motion.

He said: "Cotswold District Council has a well regarded ecology team. We will do everything we can to help and support the declaration of this emergency."

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