Greens support call for ‘State of Nature’ amendment in Environment Bill
Caroline Lucas: “What action the UK takes on climate and biodiversity this year matters more than ever.”
The Green Party has reiterated a call for a ‘State of Nature’ clause to be included in the delayed Environment Bill, which would require the government to set a legally-binding target of 2030 to halt and reverse the decline of nature.
Meanwhile, the party has called on road-building projects and airport expansion plans to be scrapped following an announcement that said the capacity of Leeds Bradford Airport would be increased despite widespread condemnation and concern.
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas supported an amendment to the bill, with the target seen as a vital way to hold ministers to account - without the amendment, opportunities to save the natural world from irreversible damage would be lost.
“The Environment Bill needs to be strengthened if it is to provide the protection that’s urgently needed and that’s why this amendment is so important. As it is, we have lost protections we had as EU members, and what’s being put in their place is weaker.
“What action the UK takes on climate and biodiversity this year matters more than ever because, as hosts of COP26, government policies will be in the global spotlight. That’s why we need to see far greater ambition and the funding to back it
“We live in one of the most nature-depleted nations in the world, with 15% of our species on the brink of extinction and just under half of UK wildlife in long term decline. Now, more than ever, the government must listen to these demands and protect the natural world they are failing so badly.”
Vida Guildford, one of the Green Party candidates for Westborough ward, added:
The pandemic has underlined how important nature is for our physical and mental wellbeing. Our parks, open spaces, and the Prittle Brook Greenway have given people the opportunity to safely exercise and reconnect with nature over the past year.
Southend is one of the most densely populated areas in the UK, and as such our green spaces are vitally important. The Green Party would protect our parks and ban the toxic herbicides currently used across Southend. We would develop urban rewilding schemes to promote biodiversity and create new pockets of green space so residents can access the physical and mental health benefits of nature.
The Green Party is leading the way in the fight against climate change and in protecting our natural world. We will ensure that every resident of Southend has access to local green spaces and the benefits of increased natural areas and biodiversity.