Climate change and the countryside
Using the land to mitigate and adapt to climate change
By 2026, reforms to agri-environment schemes and the Common Agricultural Policy mean landowners are paid to manage land to retain and absorb carbon dioxide.
Farmers have helped to reduce CO2 emissions by moving away from crops that require large amounts of synthetic, oil derived fertilisers, towards low-input, sometimes organic, systems.
To adapt to the changing climate, new areas of coastal wetland will be common, due to rising sea levels. Increased rainfall will be absorbed through better land management and technologies such as porous concrete. Biodiverse reservoirs will store water to take us through droughts.
The countryside and energy
Rural renewables, including wind turbines and solar panels, will supply the countryside with energy. Wind turbines will be the size of tall trees rather than the height of skyscrapers. Biomass, in the form of wood fuel, will come from wildlife-rich, low input coppice woodlands, now a common sight across England.
Overall power needs will have decreased due to energy-efficient buildings and modes of transport. There will also be an increase in small scale renewable schemes, with many villages supplying much of their own heat and electricity.
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