Catherine's Letter

To my grandson, Rowan (aged 8 months),

Dear Rowan,

There is nothing better than waking to the sound of birdsong, smelling the moist earth after a gentle shower of rain or seeing the changing colours of the trees as the seasons pass. I am so relieved that you have been given a chance to experience this as you grow up .

I was worried when you were a baby because the world seemed to be in crisis and no-one was taking it seriously. There were more birds than ever on the red list of endangered species because their habitat was being destroyed and their food was hard to find. The ground had become parched in many places due to a lack of rainfall and soaring temperatures. Some places had even suffered wildfires or floods, places uncomfortably close to home. More and more land was being bulldozed for new roads, runways, railways and buildings, destroying all the plants and trees that used to grow there. The space to build homes was becoming even scarcer as melting ice caused sea levels to rise. All in the name of progress and 'growth', which could more aptly be named pollution and destruction.

Thank goodness our government, and others around the world, recognised that something had to be done immediately to address both the climate and biodiversity crises. So now we are using resources and energy differently, protecting the natural world which serves us so well given the chance. We have ceased to burn fossil fuels and now use clean, renewable energy instead. We are insulating our homes and thinking more carefully about what we eat and how we travel. We are helping the poorest communities in the UK and abroad so that everyone feels safer and there is less chance of war. There is still a lot to do: more trees to plant, less waste of food, water and precious minerals and more sharing across communities. But we're heading in the right direction and I'm confident that you are learning in school how to make the planet an even better place to live.

With love and hope,


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