Opinion: "We need to change the way we live and work"

Greta Thunberg is a young Swedish climate change activist and is providing iconic leadership in the climate change debate for both young and old.

She has recently been speaking at the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York. I was impressed with Greta’s courage and clear vision when she spoke to the assembled world leaders.

She accused the leaders of ignoring the science behind climate change. “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth.”

The UK’s target to be carbon neutral by 2050 is in Greta’s words “less of an ambition and more of a death sentence to collapsing ecosystems around the world, including mankinds”.

Climate change and the associated rise in sea level are particularly pertinent to us in the low-lying land in the Fens.

The Fens is not only the engine room of British agriculture and horticulture but is also the home to 500,000 people and their businesses, national roads, rail, power generation and infrastructure.

Greta’s vision has clarified the consequences of climate change. We need to follow her leadership and impress upon our leaders the urgency of tackling this problem and setting more ambitious targets.

We need leaders and governments to take appropriate steps to slow and stop future increases in the world’s temperature.It will be personally and financially painful for us all, but not as painful as our current trajectory.

We all need to change the way we live and work.

If we choose not to change, our children will hold us responsible for the consequences and the future for the Fens may be fishing and wild fowling and not homes, businesses and farming.

Stafford Proctor is a land owner and grower in South Holland, Spalding.