Evidence from the UK Climate Impacts Programme shows that, over the next century, the climate in the Yorkshire Dales National Park is likely to become generally warmer and wetter in winter, and hotter and drier in summer. In addition, extreme events such as storms, flooding and heat waves are predicted to occur more frequently and with increased severity.
These anticipated changes will have direct impacts on the natural environment of the National Park, and indirect impacts on the people who live, work in and visit the National Park. Some of the main impacts are set out on the impacts page.
In the light of the evidence, the National Park Authority is one of many organisations to have declared a ‘climate emergency’.
The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) advises that carbon emissions must reduce globally by at least 45% by 2030 (from 2010 levels) and reach net-zero by 2050 if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change
There are many issues and challenges that require concerted action. However, there are three key areas where we think the National Park has a major and distinctive contribution to make in mitigating and adapting to climate change. These are:
- Supporting the transition to a sustainable, low carbon, approach to farming and land management in the National Park, including improvements to soils and increased carbon sequestration through peatland restoration and planting new native woodland;
- Supporting nature-based solutions in the National Park that can help develop resilience to climate change at a landscape scale, including through natural flood management to help protect communities downstream;
- Promoting sustainable tourism within the National Park, and demonstrating the benefit of “low carbon” holiday destinations.
What Is Happening In The National Park?
We and our local partner organisations are committed to doing our bit to help to tackle climate change. Moving towards a situation where the whole National Park is ‘carbon neutral’ (where the amount of greenhouse gas emissions generated in the national park each year is matched or exceeded by the amount of carbon being taken out of the atmosphere) is one of the 6 ambitions for 2040 set out in the Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan 2019-24.
What are we doing about our own emissions?
The Authority started a programme of actively reducing its carbon emissions in 2006, and by March 2021 had reduced emissions by 74%.