Major ʽNature 2030ʼ campaign launches today with landmark five-point plan.
Dozens of environmental charities and high profile activists are backing the launch of a major new campaign for nature.
Nature 2030, supported by groups such as National Trust, RSPB, Wildlife Trusts and Friends of the Earth, as well as individuals including Chris Packham and Steve Backshall, is asking all political parties to include the below 5 commitments in their general election manifestos.
Led by Wildlife and Countryside Link, the project is urging all political parties to ramp up their ambition on environmental issues in the forthcoming general election.
The five key asks of political parties include doubling the wildlife-friendly farming budget, making polluters pay for nature restoration, a large-scale green jobs creation scheme, increased protection and funding for wildlife sites and a new law guaranteeing environmental rights.
Richard Benwell, CEO of Wildlife and Countryside Link, said: “Next year, the environment will be a major election battleground. 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 wonʼt suffice.
“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.
“The Nature 2030 campaign, backed by 80 charities, challenges all party leaders to commit to five radical reforms needed to halt the decline of wildlife by 2030 - greener farming, green jobs, polluter levies for big business, more wildlife sites, and environmental rights for all.
“Weʼre inviting everyone to sign our open letter to party leaders, so that when the politicians next lock horns, it will be clear to everyone who is really willing to take action for nature.”
New research shows the public is unimpressed with the Governmentʼs performance on the environment.
Only 1 in 10 (8-13%) think the Government is performing well on key environmental issues, with Brits wanting greater environmental ambition from politicians.
The vast majority of the British public, of all political persuasions, support ambitious new measures to help nature recover by 2030.
More than half of Brits (53%) say the government is not doing or spending enough on environmental issues, with Labour and Lib Dem voters feeling particularly strongly that there is a lack of ambition.
Hilary McGrady, director-general of the National Trust, said: “With a general election on the horizon, and widespread support for greater environmental action, we need to see all political parties step up their ambition to respond to the nature crisis. The UK remains one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world and the evidence is clear that, without major change, thereʼs simply no prospect of halting the decline of nature by 2030.
“Poll after poll shows that the public want a better future for our rivers and wildlife, for the changing climate, and for our next generation. And the recent Peopleʼs Plan for Nature, published by the first UK-wide citizensʼ assembly on the topic, made clear that nature must be at the heart of all decision-making – not treated as an add-on. Political parties have a simple choice ahead of them, commit to action to support nature or face complicity in its collapse.”
Naturalist and explorer Steve Backshall added: “Everywhere Iʼve travelled nature is on a knife edge. From the river at the bottom of my garden, to the bottom of the ocean, to the furthest reaches of the Amazon, I donʼt know how much longer we have to save threatened wildlife and restore nature.
“Two years ago, I was pleased to welcome the Governmentʼs legal target to stop wildlife losses here in England, but since then Iʼve seen nothing like the scale of action needed to make it happen, just more political point-scoring. Thatʼs why Iʼm backing the Nature 2030 campaign, and its five demands to turn things around. Nature isnʼt a ʽnice thing to haveʼ, itʼs a necessity, and itʼs time that all political parties stepped forward to deliver better for nature.”