The environment will be ‘a major election battleground next year’
Politicians, celebrities and more than 80 charities have come together to back a new campaign setting out a landmark five-point plan to restore the UK environment by 2030.
The Nature 2030 campaign calls on political leaders to commit to five general election pledges which will help see nature restored in the next eight years.
Caroline Lucas criticised the ‘ideological barrier’ that has prevented Government from acting accordingly to protect nature in her speech during the launch event this morning.
Lucas raised concerns, along with other MPs and campaigners, that the government was failing to take the environment seriously as she blasted the Tory government’s, “deregulatory zeal and its allergic nature to anything that would actually protect our environment.”
Hosting the launched of the Nature 2030 campaign, Lucas called on politicians to commit to policies that put the environment first. Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey also called for big changes to be committed to at the next general election.
Celebrities including Steve Backshall, Chris Packham, Megan McCubbin and Mya-Rose Craig have supported the campaign led by Wildlife and Countryside Link (WCL).
WCL CEO Richard Benwell said the environment will be ‘a major election battleground next year’.
“Like rivals in an Attenborough film, politicians will be vying to be seen to be greener. But vague promises to be nice to nature simply won’t suffice,” Benwell said.
“Our research shows that people are deeply unhappy with the lack of progress for nature, and that the majority of us want to see the investment and regulation needed to restore our natural world.”
Only around one in ten Britons think the government is performing well in key environmental areas, with even Conservative voters underwhelmed, as only 21% of Tory voters thought the government were doing well on any key nature issue.
While the most recent, leaked government plan to prepare the UK for climate change was slammed by critics as ‘deeply disappointing’ on Monday.
The five manifesto actions that the Nature 2030 campaign are calling for are:
A pay rise for nature
They are calling for double the current budget to go into nature-friendly farming by supporting farmers, who manage over 70% of UK land, to help nature.
Make polluters pay
Calling for businesses across industries who contribute to the decline in nature, to contribute to nature’s recovery.
More space for nature
They are asking for rapid action to expand and improve protected areas, which currently only represent 3% of land and 8% of English waters.
A National Nature Service
A large-scale green jobs creation scheme to create thousands of green jobs to help projects making nature recover quickly and at scale.
A right to a healthy environment
Introduce an ‘Environmental Rights’ Bill to drive better decisions for nature and improve public health.
Hannah Davenport is trade union reporter at Left Foot Forward