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  • by Karma Loveday

Green giants launch campaign with demands for polluting businesses to do more

“Make polluters pay” was one of five asks launched last week by an 80-strong coalition of environmental groups as part of a new Nature 2030 campaign.

The campaign outlines a five point plan of landmark measures needed to restore nature by 2030. The coalition, which includes National Trust, RSPB, Wildlife Trusts and Friends of the Earth, is calling on all political parties to get behind the 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 five asks are:

  1. Aapay rise for nature and farmers – doubling the nature-friendly farming budget to £6bn to pay for ambitious farm improvements and large-scale nature restoration;

  2. 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;

  3. more space for nature by 2030 – a 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;

  4. delivering the green jobs we need – a National Nature Service, delivering wide scale habitat restoration and creating thousands of green jobs; and

  5. 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.

The campaigners argued that new research has found very low public satisfaction with government spending and performance on the environment, with high demand for more ambitious green commitments from politicians.

Key findings included:

• only one in ten think that the government is performing well in key environmental areas with Conservative voters underwhelmed – a maximum of 21% thinking the government is doing well on any key nature issue;

• 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 and 73% and 78% of previous Labour and Lib dem voters respectively, saying not enough is being done or spent on the environment; and

• all five campaign policies are well supported by the public, with support of 68% to 83% for each measure (with only between 4-10% of the public opposing any of the measures).

Making big business behave more environmentally responsibly is the measure the public back most strongly, with 83% supporting requiring businesses to pay to clean up the pollution they create (including 57% strongly supporting) and just 5% opposing.


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