Out now: The Environment, February 2023

Read the cover story here

Climate change, resilience and diversity

The February issue of The Environment focuses on climate change and water resilience – two challenges that are ever more pressing. We start this new year with world governments ever less likely to deliver their Paris Agreement pledges to limit global heating to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Last year’s COP27 climate summit in Egypt failed to speed up divestment from oil and gas exploration, production and use. Our planet will be at least 1.8°C hotter come 2100. But if we don’t curb fossil fuels fast, our world will be 2.7°C hotter by century’s end.

Climate impacts are here already. Global South communities face threats of famine, flooding and rising seas. Even northern hemisphere nations, with their wealth and resources, are grappling drier summers, warmer and wetter winters. When it rains, our streets and sewers struggle to cope. When it doesn’t, our reservoirs shrink.

This month we look at how the UK secures water and power when it needs them, where it needs them. It will take a mix of solutions; policy approaches, technical innovation and skills training. The UK must invest in its workforce, to counter the so-called silver tsunami as experts retire, switch careers or move on.

Coastal erosion is already here, too. Rising seas, heavy rain and more frequent storms are speeding up coastal change. UK government agencies and local authorities will make tough decisions about what to protect and what to surrender to the seas. This issue, we look at what that strategy could mean for a coastal community in Essex.

Stories about climate change are stories about people. We are all affected and all have our part to play. We can only do that if we are all included.

That’s the message our cover story hits home. Green councillor turned MEP Magid Magid has switched focus to deliver climate justice. It’s the message from Ngarrindjeri elder Mark Koolmatrie, whose community and ethos is rooted in ancient practices that work with, not against, nature.

And it’s the message in our careers story, about barriers in Europe’s sustainability industries to business people from minoritised backgrounds.

Building resilience demands space for all of us.

Karen Thomas

Editor, The Environment


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