green groups

Green groups criticise Government’s “weak and unambitious” environment targets

The UK Government has finally published its updated, legally binding environment targets to restore and protect nature.

But – as reported by edie – green groups do not believe the new measures will help to stop the degradation of the natural environment.

Sitting at the heart of the government’s Environment Act, the DEFRA’s environment targets are to:

  • Halt the decline in species populations by 2030, and then increase populations by at least 10% to exceed current levels by 2042
  • Restore precious water bodies to their natural state by cracking down on harmful pollution from sewers and abandoned mines and improving water usage in households
  • Deliver our net-zero ambitions and boost nature recovery by increasing tree and woodland cover to 16.5% of total land area in England by 2050
  • Halve the waste per person in residual treatment by 2042
  • Cut exposure to the most harmful air pollutant to human health – PM2.5
  • Restore 70% of designated features in our Marine Protected Areas to a favourable condition by 2042, with the rest in a recovering condition.

Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey, speaking at the UN Convention in Montreal, said: “We are committed to leaving our natural world in a better state for future generations, and today we are laying the foundations that will help deliver on this commitment.

“These targets are ambitious and will be challenging to achieve – but they will drive our efforts to restore our natural environment, protect our much-loved landscapes and green spaces and marine environment, as well as help tackle climate change.”

For a summary of industry reactions, click here.