On 12 December 2019 the General Election returned a majority Conservative government.
In response, Greener UK chair Shaun Spiers said:
“The new government has a clear mandate to tackle climate change and restore nature and we look forward to supporting it to deliver the ‘most ambitious environmental programme’ in the world. We need a bold environment act with legally binding targets, farming reform that drives nature’s recovery and a genuinely sustainable fishing policy.
“In leaving the EU, the new government must deliver on its commitment not to compromise environmental standards. That means agreeing a future relationship with the EU that is based on close environmental cooperation and resisting the temptation to strike a quick trade deal with the US that would inevitably put downward pressure on UK standards. As a starter, the new government should put into law a commitment to not fall below the environmental standards we currently enjoy.
“We look forward to working with the new ministers to tackle at speed the dire declines in nature and to get on track now to net zero.”
Shaun was also interviewed by Charlotte Smith for BBC Radio 4's Farming Today on Monday 16 December (from 8:00).
Shaun reflected that the election result could be good news for the environment, particularly considering the strength of the environmental commitments in the Conservative party's manifesto. At the same time, the party's plans for the new environment watchdog need to be improved, with the body's independence and powers still falling short of the protections currently afforded by the EU Court and Commission. Shaun also emphasised that the ambitious tree planting programme needed to incorporate nature protection alongside carbon sequestration.