British wildlife is facing unprecedented challenges from climate change and habitat loss.
A recent report by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, titled State of Nature, concluded that 60 per cent of the wildlife surveyed in the U.K. is in decline. The Coalition Government is not doing enough to stop this wildlife loss and overcome the threats to our natural world. It is vital that we face up to the challenge of protecting our environment for future generations.
David Cameron promised to lead the “Greenest Government Ever”. Instead the LibDem/Tory Coalition he’s led has set back efforts to protect Britain’s wildlife and natural environment. The parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee recently published an environmental scorecard report, using a traffic light system to rate performance in each area.
For its record on air pollution, biodiversity, and flooding and coastal protection, the Government received a red rating, meaning that these areas have deteriorated. In fact, the Coalition Government didn’t receive a aingle green rating in any of the ten areas assessed.
When it was in government, Labour developed a new approach to environmental policy, based upon whole ecosystems rather than individual species or habitats.
We commissioned the world’s first National Ecosystem Assessment. We made a binding commitment to reverse the decline of biodiversity by 2020. And we committed to make space for nature in every region of the UK.
Unfortunately the LibDem/Tory Coalition has abandoned that approach. And the ‘green’ statements by the LibDems at their party conference this year look like empty promises in comparison with their record in government.
Government has a duty to protect our natural environment and wildlife so that all can enjoy them, including future generations.
That’s why Labour first created our national parks, designated and protected areas of outstanding natural beauty, and opened up land for public access under the right to roam.
It is why a future Labour Government will not sell off our public forests.
It is also why we will change the remit of the Forestry Commission so that public money helps to secure the recovery of our natural environment in the next Parliament.
As Sadiq Khan has said
‘Ed [Miliband]’s environmental credentials put David Cameron to shame. Ed was the first Secretary of State for Climate Change – a position he fought to create. He played a key role in saving the Copenhagen climate change negotiations from collapse. We will build on our Climate Change Act by creating 1.5 million new green jobs by 2025, making five million homes energy-efficient within 10 years and make the UK’s energy supply carbon-free by 2030.’
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