This governmet promised to be the greenest on record – but subsequent actions throw this into doubt. Not least what George Osborne announced in the Autumn statement. The RSPB is urging us all to make our views known on this by writing to our local MPs.
RSPB message to us all is as follows:
Step up to save nature!
“In his autumn economic statement the Chancellor launched an all out attack on the environment and we need you to step up and write to your MP to help save it.
Since becoming Chancellor, George Osborne has implemented a review of environmental spending, supported scrapping the ‘red tape’ that protects the natural environment, and called for the reform of England’s planning system. It’s clear that short-term economic growth is his priority, but there is a real danger that might come at the expense of the natural world that sustains us.
Chancellor attacks the environment
In his autumn statement Osborne referred to the Habitats Regulations, which ensure major developments don’t destroy our most precious wildlife sites, as a ‘ridiculous cost on British business’ and claimed that they amounted to ‘gold plating’ on European legislation. The RSPB is not opposed to such a review as we are confident that the regulations that have served us well for so long will stand up to scrutiny. But we will fight any attempts to dilute the protection they provide.
There were also strong hints that a Thames Estuary airport is back on the table, which signals a u-turn as the Coalition Agreement had ruled out new runways in the South-East. Major infrastructure projects that threaten some of our most special places received his support and there was a startling lack of commitment to low-carbon industries. In fact, those businesses that emit the most carbon are to be subsidised.
Not all Government agrees
Secretary of State for Environment, Caroline Spelman, recently stated that the natural environment underpins global economic performance. She had good reason to sound authoritative; she has the weight of evidence from some of the most authoritative research compiled in recent times to back her up.
The RSPB accepts the need for the UK Government to prioritise job creation but we believe this can be achieved through smart investment in green technology. This approach would create wealth today and help tackle climate change. It would achieve the Government’s growth objective whilst protecting our precious wildlife.
This is exactly what our Letter to the Future campaign called for. 366,581 people signed the letter calling on the UK Government to invest in nature.
Please step up for nature and write to your MP today
Let them know that wildlife and the natural environment don’t need to be sacrificed for growth – that they can be at the heart of our economic recovery. Please urge them to pass on your concerns to the Chancellor.
You can find out who your MP is, and how to contact them, via www.parliament.uk. Alternatively, all MPs can be reached in writing at House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.
Please send copies of your letter or e-mail, and any replies, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can post them to: Steven Roddy, Stepping Up for Environmental Laws, FREEPOST ANG6335, The RSPB, UK Headquarters, The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG19 2BR.
This will help us monitor the progress of our campaign.
Thank you for stepping up for nature.”
Unless we make our views known wildlife issues will continue to be sidelined by the Government. So please let your MP know the strength of feeling about this.