“Greenbelts play an important role in mitigating climate change” says leading Birmingham environmental specialist after COP26 summit

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As COP26 – the 2021 United Nations climate change conference – ends, author and climate change specialist, Eugene Nulman has claim greenbelt land is a crucial and ‘hidden savour’ to the potential risk of climate change.

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Greenbelt land in Birmingham. (Photo credit: Liam Edward)

Mr Nulman, who is also a senior lecturer in sociology at Birmingham City University, said: “There is a important relationship climate change and greenbelt land as green belts work as carbon sinks by removing carbon from the air and storing them.

“Green belts represent a relatively small size of land and what you would really need to do to ensure they function most effectively as carbon sinks is to plant more trees inside them alongside other green spaces.”

In 2015 Mr Nulman addressed this issue alongside further research in his book, ‘Climate Change and Social Movements.’ He regularly attends climate change protests in Birmingham and is invited to speak at events concerning social and political movements across the UK.

He also believes greenbelt land is not given the crucial attention it needs by authority figures, globally and nationally.

“Green belts do not offer very much to policymakers in comparisipn to housing and development which can bring in tax revenue,” said Nulman.

“Therefore the public plays an important role in ensuring green belts remain part of the policymaking agenda.

“One of the best ways to demonstrate local and national concerns over greenbelts is to continue with social movement campaigns.”

Mr Nulman added: “Climate change is an existential issue that threatens human life on Earth.

“Of course public concern need to go well beyond green belts to force largescale changes that would lead to a more fossil-free world.

“The UK’s emissions, even if brought down to zero, would not stop climate change.

“Key countries that are responsible for the highest greenhouse gas emissions really need the focus placed on them.”

According to Worldometer, the UK have 1.03% share of carbon emissions in the world, which is double the emissions of other countries including Portugal and the Netherlands.

Climate Change and Social Movements: Civil Society and the Development of National Climate Change Policy by Eugene Nulman is published by Palagrave Macmillan.

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