It is understandable that over the last few months, the coronavirus pandemic has demanded the immediate attention of world leaders and and the media.

The pandemic has taken the lives of over half a million people. It has sunk the global economy, which may yet kill many more due to poverty-related illness.

And still, it is not yet over. Although the easing of lockdown restrictions has apparently convinced some people the danger has disappeared, the coronavirus is still a threat to human life.

At the time of writing, 44,000 people have died in the UK due to coronavirus, and hundreds of infections are confirmed every day.

It's worth remembering that there is still no cure and no vaccine.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has diverted our attention away from a global emergency that has the potential to be even more deadly: the threat of climate change.

Although the Earth's climate has changed throughout history (in the last 650,000 years there has been seven cycles of ice ages) most of these are attributed to variations in the Earth's orbit.

According to researchers at NASA: "The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia."

This is why it is welcome that an environmental group has put forward fresh ideas for combatting climate change in south Cumbria.

As we reveal on page two, Ambleside Action For a Future (AAFAF) has put forward plans for an eco-levy to drive in the Lake District, with exceptions for residents and essential vehicles, and some roads would be closed to cars at certain times.

The centre of Ambleside would also be pedestrianised.

Obviously these plans need a great deal of consultation, and the effectiveness, and certainly cost-effectiveness, of their plans is up for debate.

However, the group should be applauded for contributing to the debate and putting forward genuine, workable ideas for the region, even if some readers may disagree with the details.