Environmental charities are mobilizing millions of their members to stand up to the UK government over what they say is an attack on nature in a bid for growth.
groups including RSPBBthe National Trust, Wildlife Trusts, and The Wildlife-Rural Link are encouraging proponents to press Conservative MPs over proposals they say strike at the heart of environmental and wildlife protection.
The main common charities have more than 15 million members.
Their concerns include:
Bessie Speight, CEO of RSPB, said: “We are preparing to fight the largest attack on nature in a generation, and the immediate outpouring of support from all sides has been overwhelming.
The economy, food security, and our health and well-being depend entirely on a healthy natural environment, yet this government seems intent on amending or repealing important environmental laws. As we are in urgent conversations with our partners across the sector, we are calling on all nature lovers to stand up for wildlife, reach out to their representatives, and make their voices heard.”
Craig Bennett, chief executive of Wildlife Trusts, said: “Nature is under attack from a range of dangerous decisions by government and we know people are outraged by new threats.
“Vital legal protections for wildlife are at risk, fossil fuel extraction is being favored over renewable energy sources, and the government is returning to plans to reward farmers for managing land in a nature-friendly way.
The government wants to eliminate restrictions that will lead to more faeces in rivers, and less wildlife and lands unable to adapt to climate change.
“We are calling on the public to contact their elected representatives and share how concerned they are. These actions will affect all of us – the communities we live in, our wild places, our food security, and our future.”
Environmental protection has been overlooked as burdens, while investment and growth stand against nature and climate action, said Hilary McGrady, managing director of the National Trust, which has 5.7 million members.
Mark Lloyd, of the Rivers Trust, called on the government to meet with environmental NGOs to work collaboratively. He said, “We urge the government to urgently discuss with environmental NGOs and others how to develop collaborative plans to achieve sustainable economic growth while restoring the health of our natural environment. Each depends on the other.”
The campaign comes with former Environment Secretary Michael Gove and former Environment Secretary Rebecca Bow I signed a letter in the Times calling for the payments to be kept That rewards farmers for environmental improvements like clean water, better soils and more pollinators.
A government spokesperson said: “Claims we intend to back down from our commitment to the environment are simply not true. A strong environment and a strong economy go hand in hand. We have passed legislation through the Environment Act and will continue to improve our regulations and wildlife laws in line with our ambitious vision.”
We want every corner of our country to thrive, too. The bureaucratic processes in the planning system don’t necessarily protect the environment, so, by making sure we have the proper regulations in place for our nation, we can make that happen.”