The UK's climate projections for a medium carbon emission scenario include increased frequency and consequence of extreme weather events. While we can’t attribute any particular event only to climate change, we do know that we can expect more frequent and more intense winter storms causing flooding.
Of course this isn’t only the future we’re talking about - it’s already started. Floods cause great disruption to our delicately balanced transport network.
In London, Transport for London has identified "risks arising from climate change and extreme weather" and sought to manage these risks. TfL states that climate change results in more incidents of extreme weather disrupting the running of the Underground. (In the image above, the green hearts show Underground stations at risk of flooding.)
That’s why this morning we went along to Stockwell Tube Station, one of the stations TfL identifies as most at risk from flooding due to extreme weather, to hand out green heart stickers which bear the message “Don’t lose what you love to climate change”.
This is part of a nationwide week of events called Show the Love. From today to Valentine’s Day, people all over the country will be showing the love to the places they cherish that might be at risk due to climate change, to highlight the real impact that it will have and has had.
Show the Love is organised by the Climate Coalition. The Climate Coalition brings together over 100 organisations, from environment and development charities to unions, faith and belief, community and women’s groups, and represents a supporter base of over 15 million people. Campaign for Better Transport is proud to be part of this movement dedicated to action on climate change and limiting its impact on people in the UK and around the world.
Climate change is an emergency for nature. But it’s also an emergency for infrastructure, communities, and our economy. Tackling it requires huge global effort, and it also requires local action.
We must urgently reduce emissions from transport - transport accounts for about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK - by shifting travel from cars and planes to trains and buses, cycling and walking.
We must also make sure these services are resilient to the damaging effects of climate change that we are too late to stop.
Unfortunately, government action on transport does not match its rhetoric on climate change. Policies promote road building and put our buses in crisis. We are still waiting for the Government’s promised Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy which was meant to deliver a “cycling revolution”, but is now long overdue (and might not include any new investment anyway).
Look at the map of Show the Love events here to find one near you. Events include workshops, nature visits, and all sorts, and there are lots of sites where you can pick up your own free green heart stickers to wear proudly through the week. Please also share your support on social media - the aim is to get as much public recognition as possible.
How about taking a picture of yourself using a bus which is threatened to be cut, or in a landscape which is threatened from changing climate? Or just share your words of encouragement for action to tackle climate change to protect the places you love using the hashtag #ShowTheLove.