Nature 2030 – Five Key Commitments from Politicians at 2024 General Election
Nature 2030 – a campaign that demands five key actions for nature by 2030 to be a priority in political agendas for the next general election – launches today. The actions needed to protect and restore nature are:
- Double the wildlife-friendly farming budget to £6 billion to ensure ambitious farm improvements and large-scale nature restoration
- Make polluters pay for nature restoration by placing a Nature Recovery Obligation in law
- Create green jobs on a large scale through a National Nature Service to deliver wide-scale habitat restoration
- Increase protection and funding for wildlife sites through a 30×30 rapid delivery programme and creating a Public Nature Estate
- Legislate a new law guaranteeing the right to a healthy environment that would establish a human right to clean air and water and access to nature.
The UK Health Alliance on Climate Change is partnering with Wildlife and Countryside Link, the largest environment and wildlife coalition in England, and a number of other groups in calling for these actions.
The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world with more than 40% declining native wildlife species and one in seven facing extinction. At the current rates of decline and slow recovery, by 2042 the nation would have less biodiversity as compared to today. Significant air and water pollution levels are further threatening the existence of wildlife. From a wider health perspective, a biodiverse nature is quintessential to the survival of human civilization as we depend on it for air, water, food, medicines and economy. Biodiversity also makes ecosystems more resilient and helps regulate the climate. Restoration of nature is also necessary to meet net-zero commitments. Further, there is growing evidence of the positive association between nature and human health (both physical and mental health).
In December 2022, the UK is a cosignatory on the international agreement to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030. The Environment Act 2021 places a legal duty in England to stop biodiversity loss and protect 30% of the land and sea for nature. However, the Office for Environmental Protection has concluded that the current rate and scale of action by the government are insufficient to meet the targets. The Nature 2030 coalition is urging political parties to commit to the 5 landmark actions to ensure rapid change on the ground level that would help achieve the set targets.
New research has also found that there is public dissatisfaction regarding environmental inaction by the government and a huge appetite for a more ambitious nature plan. Nine in ten British people think that government action in key environmental areas is poor and more than half think that not enough budget is allocated to environmental issues. Each of the five demanded policy actions had a majority of public support, ranging between 68-83%. The Nature 2030 coalition is also urging members of the public to add their names to this open letter which calls on political parties to commit to more radical nature plans.