Theresa May defends her government saying they are serious about improving the environment. The plan spans 151 pages and pledges to “show leadership on conservation, climate change, land use, sustainable global food supplies and marine health.
“A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment” sets out how over the next quarter of a century the government will achieve:
- Clean air.
- Clean and plentiful water.
- Thriving plants and wildlife.
Chapter 4: Increasing resources efficiency and reducing pollution and waste
2. iii Publishing a Chemicals Strategy
2.iv Minimising the risk of chemical contamination in our water. …. Chemicals get into our water
via a wide range of sources, including water treatment plants, use of agricultural pesticides,
abandoned infrastructure such as mines, atmospheric deposition and road runoff. We want to
tackle risks from chemical contaminants in English waters, including groundwater, and make sure
that levels of contaminants entering fresh water bodies (which may be transported to coats and
seas) neither increase nor give rise to pollution. . . As well as source control mechanisms actions
to manage prioritised substances will range from environmental interventions around pathways-to-
the-water environment; point source controls; and taking no further action where controls already
exist that can address concerns.
5. Using resources from nature more sustainably and efficiently.
6. Enhanced beauty, heritage and engagement with the natural environment.
“In addition, we will manage pressures on the environment by:
7. Mitigating and adapting to climate change.
8. Minimising waste.
9. Managing exposure to chemicals.
Chapter 6: Protecting and improving our global environment
3.ii Protecting and managing risk from hazards – We will develop methods to identify substances
of concern; our aim is to substantially reduce deaths and ill-health arising from hazardous
chemicals and waste
10. Enhancing biosecurity.
Tackling a Green Brexit and housing, the plan promises to:
- 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.
The plan is vague on how the goals will be measured and enforced, saying ministers will consult on a new independent body to hold the government to account. It has been met with some caution by environmental groups such as WWF and Greenpeace, and criticised by Labour and The Green Party.
May was Home Secretary during the floods of 2014 at the time of Zane’s death and the emergency COBRA meetings, and one of her first acts as prime minister was to write to us, Zane’s parents, to refuse to meet with us regarding our son’s death.
Will the government put its words of environmental protection being at the heart of the strategy into action where it counts, and deliver the social justice they promise?
If Teresa May wants to persuade people this is more than green washing and government spin, she needs to immediately grant an independent panel inquiry into the death of 7 year old Zane. You can’t claim to care about the environment, care about the next generation and then let chemical contamination pollute our homes and kill our children.