Government publishes 25-year Environment Plan
A pledge to eliminate avoidable waste, introduce new safeguards for wildlife and connect more children with nature are among the ambitious plans for a greener future outlined by Prime Minister Theresa May and Environment Secretary Michael Gove today.
In a major speech today, the Prime Minister has launched the government’s landmark 25 Year Environment Plan, setting out how we will improve the environment over a generation by creating richer habitats for wildlife, improving air and water quality and curbing the scourge of plastic in the world’s oceans.
“A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment” sets out how over the next quarter of a century the government will:
- Help wildlife thrive by creating 500,000 hectares of new habitat for endangered species, supporting farmers to turn fields into meadows and other habitats, replenishing depleted soils and providing £5.7 million to kick-start a new Northern Forest.
- Deliver a Green Brexit by consulting on a new environmental watchdog to hold government to account for environmental standards, and setting out a new approach to agriculture and fisheries management
- Seek to embed a ‘net environmental gain’ principle so development delivers environmental improvements locally and nationally, enabling housing development without increasing overall burdens on developers
- Connect people with nature by creating ‘nature friendly schools’ and reviewing National Parks to see how they can improve and whether the network should be extended.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “Respecting nature’s intrinsic value and making sure we are wise stewards of our natural world is critical if we are to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it.
“Our Environment Plan sets out how over the next 25 years we will radically reduce the waste that is choking oceans and rivers, cleanse our air of toxic pollutants and create new habitats for our most precious wildlife to thrive.
“Through this plan we will build on our reputation as a global leader in environmental protection, creating an environment everyone can enjoy and helping the next generation flourish.”
In a world-first, the 25 Year Environment Plan also sets out how we will use a natural capital approach to help us see the additional benefits – whether that is improved health and wellbeing, or national prosperity – in every part our environment, helping improve and direct decision making, and guiding new development.
The plan sits alongside the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, which sets out how the UK is leading the world in cutting carbon emissions to combat climate change and driving economic growth.
Attending the launch of the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan this morning, Sue Biggs CBE, director general of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), comments:
“The RHS welcomes the government’s commitment to the environment today – any effort to leave the UK in a better state for future generations should be applauded and is at the heart of what we do. Our scientific research and school and community outreach programmes, including Britain in Bloom and Greening Grey Britain, have long proved that the benefits of plants and gardening extend far beyond the environment; helping to improve health and wellbeing and fostering stronger communities.
“For many, particularly those living in urban areas, gardens are just as much a part of the natural world as landscapes and national parks. That’s why we’ve spent the last ten years supporting the next generation of horticulturists by inspiring more than 34,000 schools and youth groups to get children growing through our Campaign for School Gardening. While we’re delighted that the government has announced plans to engage even more young people in the environment there’s also 27 million active UK gardeners and domestic gardens that are willing to stand on the frontline when it comes to greening our towns and cities.”