Poor Record Earns Government Environmental Red Card
The government is not doing enough to reduce air pollution, protect biodiversity and prevent flooding, according to its own Environmental Audit Committee. The cross-party group examined ten areas of environmental policy on a green, amber, red score chart in an attempt to analyse the coalition’s progress since it came to power in 2010. There were no ‘green’ ratings amongst the ten areas covered.
Committee Chair Joan Whalley believes the results showed a new approach to environmental issues was necessary: “A dedicated, wide-ranging ‘Environmental Strategy’ is needed, overseen by a new ‘Office for Environmental Responsibility’ to ensure the government meets the requirements to protect human health and the natural world,” she said. “I want the parties to use our report as both a wake-up call and a template for the measures that need to be put forward.”
MPs found that emissions of airborne particulates increased in 2013, with targets for nitrogen dioxide failing to be met across the country and some predictions saying several areas would take until 2030 to comply. UK wildlife populations have showed a decrease in a number of areas with three of the four bird species seen as key indicators declining, while the committee also expressed concern over flooding. They estimate that 2.4 million properties are at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea while a further 3 million are threatened by surface water run-off.
You can view a copy of The Environmental Audit Committee Fifth Report here