A coalition of 80 charities led by Wildlife and Countryside Link and including National Trust, RSPB, Wildlife Trusts and Friends of the Earth are backing a major new campaign for nature which asks all political parties to include five key commitments in their general election manifestos.
The Nature 2030 campaign outlines five measures needed to restore nature by 2030. It is being launched today (18 July) at a parliamentary event with politicians including speakers The Rt Hon Sir Ed Davey, Natural Environment Minister Trudy Harrison, Alex Sobel MP and Caroline Lucas MP.
The coalition of charities is calling on all political parties to get behind these proposals in their general election manifestos to deliver on public appetite for greater environmental ambition and to meet binding targets for nature by 2030 and climate by 2050.
The campaign is also backed by Steve Backshall, Chris Packham, Megan McCubbin and Mya-Rose Craig.
The 5 landmark commitments nature experts are seeking from political parties are:A pay rise for nature and farmers: Doubling the nature-friendly farming budget to £6bn pay for ambitious farm improvements and large-scale nature restoration. Making polluters pay: Putting a Nature Recovery Obligation in law, requiring polluting big businesses to deliver environmental improvement plans, and funding to counter the damage they cause to nature. More space for nature by 2030: A 30×30 rapid delivery programme restoring protected sites and landscapes and creating a Public Nature Estate to fulfil the promise to protect 30% of the land and sea for nature, and deliver more nature in all communities. Delivering the green jobs we need: A National Nature Service, delivering wide scale habitat restoration and creating thousands of green jobs. A Right to a Healthy Environment: establishing a human right to clean air and water and access to nature, building nature into decision making, enabling people to hold decision makers to account and driving changes that will recover nature and improve public health.
In 2022, the UK signed an international deal to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030. In England, that promise is underpinned by a legal duty in the Environment Act 2021 to stop the decline of species abundance, and a commitment to protect 30% of the land and sea for nature. However, the Office for Environmental Protection has concluded that ‘the current pace and scale of action will not deliver the changes necessary to significantly improve the environment’.
The coalition of charities is today also urging members of the public to add their name to an open letter being sent to all the main political parties to call for more radical nature commitments.
New research has found very low public satisfaction with Government spending and performance on the environment, with high demand for more ambitious environmental commitments from politicians. Only around 1 in 10 Brits think that the Government is performing well in key environmental areas, and more than half (53%) say Government is not doing or spending enough on environmental issues.
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 won’t 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. We’re 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.”
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, there’s 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 People’s Plan for Nature, published by the first UK-wide citizens’ 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.”