Tackling the Nature Crisis

26 Sep 2023
A hand in a plastic glove is using a flask to collect a sample from standing water

Nature is in decline not only across the UK, but also across the world.

Successive governments have accelerated this decline in nature, which threatens the viability of species, harms our own health and wellbeing and even risks the supply of our food.

Tackling the climate emergency goes hand in hand with reversing the decline in the natural environment. We cannot address one without addressing the other.

Regrettably, the Conservatives have failed to tackle the decline in our natural environment. Their 25 Year Environment Plan lacks the crucial binding targets necessary for both short-term and long-term environmental recovery.Their newly established regulator, the Office of Environmental Protection, doesn’t have the teeth to hold the government to account.

Nowhere is this more apparent than with their attitude to the dumping of sewage by the water companies into our rivers, lakes and coastal waters. 

In the face of this crisis, Liberal Democrats are calling for meaningful action to reverse the decline in our natural environment. Our new policy, passed by members today, calls for:

  • Halting the decline in nature by 2030 and “doubling nature” by 2050. We would do this by doubling the amount of land that is protected and managed for nature, doubling the area of the most important habitats, and doubling species abundance.
  • Introducing a ‘Right to Nature’, establishing everyone’s right to healthy air, clean water and access to nature.
  • Halting sewage discharges by mandating major sewage infrastructure upgrades as well as reducing other river pollution and setting new “blue flag” standards for rivers. 
  • Reforming the planning system to ensure decisions are compatible with nature’s recovery and climate change mitigation, and designating more areas for wildlife. 
  • Introducing an Environment and Wellbeing Budget, focused on ensuring we are a country that is rich in nature.

Our new policy is a promise to future generations that we will not stand idly by while our natural world withers away. Together, we can build a greener, more sustainable future for all.




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