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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 December, 2004, 07:55 GMT
Plea for 'extreme weather' tales
WWF Cymru wants to hear people's experience of extreme weather
A conservation charity is hoping to use real-life examples of extreme weather to pressurise the UK Government on the issue of climate change.

WWF Cymru is calling on people to give examples of how they think global warming has affected their lives.

The initiative comes as world leaders gather in Argentina for a conference on climate change.

Welsh Environment Minister Carwyn Jones welcomed a UK consultation paper on tackling greenhouse gases.

WWF Cymru said its Climate Witnesses initiative aimed to raise awareness about how changes in weather were now affecting people across Wales and beyond.

We need to hear real people's stories so that we can create an accurate picture of how extreme weather events are affecting people and the environment
Morgan Parry, WWF Cymru

Spokesman Morgan Parry said: "We are facing climate chaos.

"Severe and freak weather events are already affecting people in the UK and if CO2 levels aren't drastically cut it's been estimated that two million homes could be at risk from flooding and coastal erosion in the UK by the middle of the century.

"We want to demonstrate to the government and industry that climate change is a reality and is affecting the lives of people in Wales," said Mr Parry.

"To do this we need to hear real people's stories so that we can create an accurate picture of how extreme weather events are affecting people and the environment."

Carwyn Jones
Mr Jones said storms were "stark reminder" of climate change

The charity said examples of how severe weather had hit people's lives could include experiences of flooding, difficulties in obtaining insurance for an outdoor event or examples of farmland damaged by erosion.

Alternatively, people might know of more subtle changes, for example places which had fewer wild flowers or wild life, it added.

WWF Cymru has established a website for the research work.

On Wednesday, Welsh Environment Minister Carwyn Jones welcomed the launch of consultation paper on the review of the UK Climate Change Programme.

'Storms are stark reminder'

The programme, a joint project between the assembly and UK governments, showed the UK was on course to hit the 12.5% cut in greenhouse gases demanded in the Kyoto Protocol.

But it was not expected to meet its pledge to cut carbon dioxide emissions to 20% below 1990 levels by 2010.

Mr Jones said: "Storms and flooding are a stark reminder of what may be in store.

"Whatever mechanisms we are putting in place to combat climate change, it is likely that we will have severe weather events of this kind more frequently in the future."

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