World Earth Day 2021

World Earth Day 2021 is a 3-day global event of climate action established in 1970. The aim is to spread awareness and start a conversation on climate restoration and regeneration. Climate change is more crucial than ever. In the midst of the pandemic, 2020 showed us that a pause or decline in climate change is possible. With a major reduction in travel and businesses on hold, CO2 emissions fell by a global total of 7%.

On a smaller scale carbon sequestration and carbon sinks, a process by which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and held in solid or liquid form, is a great way to offset CO2 emissions and improve your clubs carbon footprint. Carbon dioxide (CO2) cycles naturally between the atmosphere and the biosphere as a result of photosynthesis, respiration, decomposition and combustion. Carbon is absorbed by vegetation, creating significant stores in the soils.

Historically carbon sinks have always been seen as a job for vast woodland canopies, consuming about a quarter of the carbon dioxide pollution produced by humans worldwide. However research shows that grasslands and wetlands can be just as important for reducing carbon emissions than woodlands.

“By restoring some habitats such as grasslands or bogs, land managers can help mitigate the causes of climate change by directly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, safeguarding carbon stores and in some cases re-starting sequestration” (Natural England, 2010).

When creating your environment management plans, it is important to not only adopt practices which are beneficial for biodiversity and wildlife but also reducing CO2 emissions on your site. Most carbon in terrestrial habitats in England are in the soils. Therefore, adopting management options which reduce the soil disturbance, erosion and oxidation is likely to result in increased carbon stores.

Joanna Bertwistle