On World Environment Day, the Liberal Democrats are calling on the Conservative Government to take “radical action” to restore and protect nature.
In a letter to George Eustice, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Liberal Democrat MPs urge the Government to show “global leadership” on this issue, after the UN Environment group highlighted the link between zoonoses, including coronaviruses, and the destruction of the natural world.
The Party calls for key measures to be introduced ahead of COP 26 next year, including a Nature Act, which would set legally binding near-term and long-term targets for improving water, air, soil and biodiversity, and measures to expand accessible green space.
Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the Climate Emergency and Environment said:
“The UN has drawn a clear link between the current public health crisis and the destruction of our natural world. We need to act now to protect our precious planet for future generations. Protecting nature has got to be at the heart of any plan to tackle the climate crisis.
“Despite the fact that we’re hosting the COP-26 conference next year, the Conservative Government has not shown enough ambition when it comes to protecting and restoring nature right here in the UK. We need to see legally binding targets for water and air quality and other key measures.
“Robust action is the only way to achieve the long-lasting change we so urgently need. That is why the Liberal Democrats are calling for investment to restore key habitats like peatlands, woodlands and saltmarshes, to help promote biodiversity and build resilience against extreme weather events.
“The Conservative Government has the power to act and they must not hesitate.”