Restore Nature Now pledge more crucial with general election

  • Post last modified:May 23, 2024
  • Reading time:6 mins read

As hundreds of thousands of people across the country prepare for what promises to be the biggest march to protect nature in a generation, new polling reveals that almost three-quarters of the public believe the government is failing to protect our country’s nature, threatening our very life support systems and compounding the biodiversity crisis. But will a general election change that and ‘restore nature now’?

Most of the public think the government is failing nature

A new poll released on International Day for Biodiversity reveals that a staggering 71% of the UK public thinks the government isn’t doing enough to protect the environment for the next generation. Voters from all political sides think nature is not being protected adequately for future generations. The polls found that this includes 56% of Conservative voters, 86% of Labour voters and 80% of Liberal Democrat 2019 voters.

All major nature charities and climate and environmental groups in the UK are banding together to warn political parties today that their commitments to nature are falling far short, risking the lives of wildlife and the people of this country and the rest of the world. Together they are urging the public to join them in London in a month’s time on 22 June to voice alarm at the state of UK nature and demand that politicians Restore Nature Now.

The warning comes ahead of an imminent announcement of the UK’s strategy to meet key international biodiversity agreements from COP15, to halt and restore nature loss and protect 30% of land and sea for nature by 2030.

Restore Nature Now

With low expectations from nature groups that the plans will turn the tide for UK nature, it also comes hot on the heels of a warning from the National Audit Office last week, that the government’s flagship Biodiversity Net Gain scheme may not have the measures in place to ensure its success.

Our politicians have a track record of allowing environment and climate destroying projects such as High Speed 2 (HS2), Road Investment Strategy 2 (RIS2), the West Cumbria Coal Mine, and Rosebank oil field to go ahead. It is clear beyond any doubt that protecting the lives of millions of people in and outside of the UK from climate and ecological breakdown is not a priority.

TV wildlife star Chris Packham will spearhead the Restore Nature Now march in London on 22 June that is expected to draw hundreds of thousands people from campaign groups and nature conservation organisations including Extinction Rebellion, the RSPB, National Trust, Woodland Trust, and the Wildlife Trusts.

Chris Packham, TV broadcaster and environmental campaigner, said:

The vast majority of people in the UK care deeply about protecting the environment for the future. We all want a better world for the next generation, but as this research shows we have no faith that our politicians will deliver the change nature needs.

There has never been a more critical time for nature, wildlife numbers continue to fall and our wild places continue to deteriorate. We have to shout it from the rooftops that we must Restore Nature Now, and politicians from all parties need to hear us roar.

He also pointed out in an X video that ‘things can only get better – right?’

Nature demands for a general election

Daze Aghaji, spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion UK said:

The people know that the state of nature in the UK, and all over the world, is bad. And we know that none of us can survive if the natural world collapses. If we, ordinary people, know this and see how vital it is to act, why are our politicians not acting with the urgency that is needed? It is time that we all stand together and unite to protect and restore nature now, before it is too late.

Over 170 organisations from across the UK are backing the Restore Nature Now demonstration on 22 June to protest the poor state of nature in the UK and are united in calling on UK politicians to deliver:

– A pay rise for nature – the nature and climate-friendly farming budget doubled.

– Make polluters pay – new rules to make polluters contribute to nature and climate recovery

– More space for nature – to expand and improve protected areas, and ensure public land and National Parks contribute more to recovery.

– A right to a healthy environment –  an Environmental Rights Bill, which would drive better decisions for nature, improve public health and access to high-quality nature.

– Fair and effective climate action – increasing home energy efficiency, supporting active travel and public transport, and replacing polluting fossil fuels with affordable renewables.

All this seems especially pertinent given the general election on 4 July. We will wait and see whether or not the main parties commit to ‘restoring nature now’.

Featured image via Restore Nature Now

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