It’s been a long, long road for the Environment Bill, but following today’s Queen’s Speech, it is back.
Considering the Government says it wants to be the first to leave the environment in a better state for the next generation, it feels like a generation has passed since the bill was first launched three years ago. We are in the midst of a nature and climate emergency. Further delay is not an option.
Turning the Environment Bill to law must be the Government’s priority. As the host nation of the international climate summit COP26 later this year, the Prime Minister would have little credibility in leading global negotiations on environmental issues if he can’t even produce domestic steps to restore nature.
The rhetoric is there, but it must become reality.
At BBOWT we have been working with colleagues across the country to keep the pressure on government to pass legislation that delivers nature recovery networks, a new Office for Environment Protection, legally binding environmental targets, protects key environmental principles and ensures developments must not harm nature.
We are so close to the culmination of this work, but we cannot stop yet.
The latest State of Nature Report found that 15% of our species are at risk of extinction. We can’t allow our wildlife to become just another statistic or a footnote in our history books. We must act now.
Nature not only provides us with the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe, it is also crucial for our physical and mental wellbeing. The pandemic has shown us that we need nature – but nature needs us too.
As HS2 and the OxCam Arc threaten the natural world on our patch, we must put nature at the heart of our decision making. Nature must be our first thought, not an after thought. We must protect the nature we have and restore what we have lost – we need more nature everywhere. It’s that simple.
The Environment Bill can become world leading legislation with a few improvements and real determination to get it over the line. A new legally binding target for nature’s recovery would ensure the Government puts in place policies that will guarantee we reverse the loss of nature by 2030 and restore our natural environment.
Please sign the petition to call on the Prime Minister to make us the first country in the world to put nature’s recovery into law.