COMMENT: If we all commit to change, it will make a difference
Anyone who still thinks that climate change is either a myth or something that might happen years from now would do well to listen to Professor Steve Fletcher.
The director of revolution plastics at the University of Portsmouth and also chair of the Portsmouth Climate Action Board says simply and starkly: 'It’s not in the future, it’s happening now’.
He tells The News today that the climate emergency 'remains the biggest long-term challenge our city faces'.
He says that we need to make tackling climate change a top priority - right away.
We have to accept that Portsmouth is already seeing higher sea levels, extreme weather events and increasing air pollution.
All these are signs that climate change is a present reality in our city.
That sense of urgency Prof Fletcher is trying hard to convey is behind next month's Portsmouth Climate Festival, a three-week long series of events coinciding with the UK’s hosting of the UN Climate Change Conference COP26.
He and other organisers hope the activities, talks and seminars will raise awareness of the climate challenges threatening our island city and also highlight ways in which we can all make a difference.
That last part really is the key. Because we can all sit and think that the problem is simply too big, that what we do as individuals won't change anything.
But if we all commit to take small steps in our daily lives, from using the car less to reducing the amount of plastics we buy, it will add up and help Portsmouth achieve the target of net zero carbon by 2030.
Portsmouth Climate Festival will showcase how we can make those changes.
We urge everyone to take advantage of the events and information on offer and play their part.