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New Report Reveals Caithness And Sutherland Peatlands As Key Areas For Fighting Climate Change

21st November 2018

Photograph of New Report Reveals Caithness And Sutherland Peatlands As Key Areas For Fighting Climate Change


New report by leading scientist warns the UK not to ignore the power of plants to fight climate change.

Scotland's Caithness and Sutherland Peatlands are home to the largest peat mass in the UK, with a very high proportions undisturbed ground, making it a key area for fighting climate change.

Plants have the power to account for 37%1 of the required cuts by 2050, but take up just 7% of public discussion - reflecting a major imbalance at Government level .

New poll shows public want greater funding for natural climate solutions (70%)3 with majority voting in favour of paying more tax to fund this (52%).

Within three generations, the UK climate could resemble that of Southern Italy, with fires and flash floods, but combined with harsh ‘Beast from the East' cold spell.

Today, Seventh Generation and Plantlife launch a petition to put plants higher up the climate change agenda. More information at:

Restoring biodiverse landscapes in the UK is an essential part of the climate change solution, according to a new report from climate change scientist, Mark Maslin - which found that planting on just 2% of the UK’s land would absorb the emissions of every vehicle in the UK and would have the same impact as 75% of the country switching to a vegan diet for a year.

The report was commissioned by Seventh Generation, an eco-friendly household cleaning company, alongside plant conservation experts Plantlife, as part of a new campaign to get plants higher up the climate change agenda.

The report highlights that, although plants could account for over a third (37%) of the required cuts by 2050 under the UK Climate Change Act, they currently take up just 7%2 of public discussion around climate change – reflecting a major imbalance at Government level.

The campaign, "Yes, Plants Can", launches today with a petition calling on the Government to meet its commitment to create or restore 500,000 hectares of species rich habitat for the next generation. Meeting this commitment would:

Absorb the yearly equivalent emissions of all vehicles registered in the UK
Absorb the equivalent emissions of every London bus 60 times over
Have the same impact as 50 million Brits switching to a vegan diet for a year

A new poll, commissioned alongside the report, also reveals powerful public support for plant-based solutions, with a majority (52%)3 of the 2,000 adults polled voting in favour of paying more tax to restore biodiverse landscapes, and 70%3 expressing a desire to see greater government funding.

The report also reveals that the full potential of plants to help fight climate change is even greater than the Government’s current ambitions and could account for a third (37%)1 of the required cuts by 2050 under the UK Climate Change Act. This would be achieved through optimum management of bogs, grasslands, arable and horticultural lands, and by increasing forest cover to 18%1 of the UK.

Mark Maslin, professor of earth system science at University College London, and the author of the report, said: "Not only are we not currently using plants to their full potential, but we also have among the lowest rates of forest cover in Europe at 13%, compared with France (37%), Germany (32%), Belgium (32%), Italy (35%), Spain (37%), Norway (37%), Austria (47%), Greece (28%), Sweden (69%) and Finland (72%). Outside of Europe, Japan has the same number of people per square mile and has 67% forest cover. There’s no reason why we can’t do better."

Jenny Hawley, Senior Policy Officer at Plantlife, charity partner of Seventh Generation, said: “We welcome the Government’s promise to restore and create 500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat for the next generation.  Even more, we look forward to seeing a clear plan, funding and targets in place to deliver on this.  Biodiverse landscapes like peat bogs, ancient woodland and species-rich grassland have a powerful role to play in helping fight the effects of climate change and yet they remain vulnerable to destruction because of ineffective legal protection.  We need to restore, protect and love them. Urgently.”

Seventh Generation and Plantlife have created a petition to call on the Government to publish details of its plan to deliver this target in its upcoming Climate Change Bill. Sign the petition here:

Seventh Generation is a plant-based household cleaning product company with strong beliefs about the rights of people and planet. New to the UK, the brand has a long history of activism in the US; their #ComeClean campaign, which calls for manufacturers of both consumer household and industrial cleaning products to disclose all intentionally-added ingredients on their product labels and websites, has resulted in a review of legislation at both a state and federal level.

Mathieu Desbrandes, Brand Manager at Seventh Generation, said: “Our name is inspired by the Great Law of the Iroquois confederacy: “In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.”

It is for us a constant reminder of this promise, to fight today for the next seven generations. We know that plants have the power to help fight climate change and protect the future of generations to come, and we are fighting to give them a place on the Government agenda.”

To sign the petition visit: [url=[/url]
or search #YesPlantsCan

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