Government must recognise the value of nature

Monday 19th November 2012

Determination to pursue economic growth at all costs may result in the Government speeding up infrastructure schemes which damage the natural environment.

In response to the Prime Minister’s address to the CBI’s Annual Conference today, Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscapes, urges for the ‘growth at all costs’ mentality to be abandoned and for the value of nature to be recognised and acknowledged. 

He said: 

Rather than being an obstacle to economic productivity, the environment is the very basis of it

“One year ago, in the autumn statement, the Chancellor triggered a costly and time-consuming review of the Habitats and Wild Birds Directives after suggesting that gold-plating was holding back growth.  The review concluded regulations are neither ‘gold plated’ or an excessive burden on business. 

“The Prime Minister may not want to ‘cross every ‘i’ and dot every ‘t’ but speeding up the building of roads and railways without taking proper account of the implications could be a disaster for the natural environment.  It is vital for time to be taken to make the right decisions for the long-term.”

The Prime Minister announced plans to make Judicial Reviews more expensive and to reduce the time limit for applying for a review.  The Wildlife Trusts are worried this move will mean poor decisions, which ignore impacts on the natural environment, go unchallenged.

Paul Wilkinson added: 

“We are extremely concerned that plans to make it difficult to challenge poor decisions through Judicial Review will undermine important environmental protections.  Rather than being an obstacle to economic productivity, the environment is the very basis of it.  There is a growing body of evidence to demonstrate the fact. 

“We appeal to the Prime Minister to champion policies that will bring much-needed prosperity without destroying the natural environment that millions hold dear.”

Tagged with: Business