Responses to Theresa May's environment speech

By agency reporter
January 12, 2018

Commenting on Theresa May’s speech on the environment and the publication of the government’s 25-year plan for nature, Greenpeace UK’s executive director John Sauven said, “Britain’s natural environment needs a 25-month emergency plan more than it needs a 25-year vision. 

"If the government’s aim is to get through to young voters, they need to offer change that happens before these youths turn middle aged. They should start by rolling out more robust and swift measures to stop plastic waste harming our oceans, clean up illegal air pollution and support the clean energy sources that can help stop climate change.

“If Theresa May wants to persuade people this is more than just husky-hugging, she needs to put some joined-up thinking at the heart of her strategy. You can’t claim to care about climate change and our countryside and then back fracking, or care about the next generation and then let air pollution harm our kids’ health.

“The environment is now a mainstream concern in this country, with millions of people caring deeply about it. Theresa May has a unique opportunity to rise to the challenge and make Britain a global leader in environmental protection. She should not waste it.”

Friends of the Earth’s CEO Craig Bennett said, “A long-term vison for protecting our environment is essential, but the government can’t keep turning a blind eye to the urgent action needed now to protect our health and planet from toxic air and climate-wrecking pollution. 

“It’s time to stop tinkering at the margins and get to the heart of the problems – especially the nation’s fossil fuels addiction.

“Ministers must pull the plug on coal, gas and oil, end its support for fracking and develop the UK’s huge renewable power potential.

“Twenty-five years is a long way off – particularly for a government that might not last 25 weeks. We need action now.”

Commenting on the government’s pledge to end avoidable plastic waste in 25 years, Friends of the Earth waste campaigner Julian Kirby said, “If it’s avoidable waste, why is it taking us a quarter of a century to get there? The government – and Mr. Gove in particular – have made bold statements about ending plastic pollution, but so far their record doesn’t match the rhetoric. 

“Under the Conservative’s, English recycling rates have stalled and we’re burning ever more recyclable waste, even though in 2010 they committed to a ‘zero waste economy’.

“Plastic pollution is toxic for life and must be stopped at source – governments must act now to ensure the firms responsible for creating this plastic mess take responsibility [for] clearing it up and preventing it.”

* Greenpeace

* Friends of the Earth


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