Government failing on biodiversity ahead of COP15

The Liberal Democrats have called out the Government for their failures on biodiversity in the UK ahead of the second phase of COP15.

At their Spring Conference today, the Party set out a number of steps it believes the Government must take if the UK is to tackle the ecological emergency with the urgency it requires.

The calls include reforming the powers and funding given to Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks to restore nature, and a plan to halt the long-term decline in biodiversity and species abundance by 2030, through specific and costed policy measures.

The UK has lost nearly half of its biodiversity and just 14% of surface waters are classified as being in good ecological condition in England, with a shocking 0% in good overall condition – some way off the Conservatives’ target of 75% by 2027.

The Liberal Democrats are also calling for the environment to be put at the heart of government policymaking, while greater powers should be given to local authorities to tackle the crisis as appropriate in their area.

Liberal Democrat Peer and Chair of the House of Lords Committee on Environment and Climate Change, Baroness Kate Parminter, said: “The Government is not treating the ecological crisis seriously enough. Our beautiful and diverse natural environment and native species have withered away, thanks to years of their policy failures and inaction.

“COP15 represents a golden opportunity to turn the tide, but the Conservatives are not taking it seriously enough. The UK has to get its own house in order if it is to set an example on the world stage. Allowing the use of bee-harming pesticides is the latest example of where the Conservatives’ words don’t match their actions.

“The climate and ecological emergencies are intrinsically linked and must be tackled together. That is why I am pleased the motion the Liberal Democrats have passed today recognises this and sets out significant steps towards improving biodiversity in the UK.”

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