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Green U-turns won’t wash

Open letter calls on Cameron to resolve contradictions between pledges and policy
David Cameron Picture from MyGreenPod Sustainable News

The heads of the UK’s leading environmental groups have written an open letter to David Cameron, expressing ‘major concern’ about the apparent U-turns that mark the government’s first three months in office.

Cameron’s in – here’s what it means

Changes to policy

The signatories – who are charged with protecting the environment – say they were ‘delighted’ by Cameron’s promises to restore the health of the environment and grow the low-carbon economy.

However, they express dismay at the weakening or cancellation of ‘ten green policies which could have helped you to achieve these goals’.

‘As a sector, we are ready to work with you to help your government continue its low carbon transition, and to deliver your manifesto commitment to protect and enhance our beautiful natural environment. We would encourage you to resolve some of the contradictions that have emerged between the stated intentions of government and the actions of your ministers in its first period in office.’

Open letter to David Cameron

Wind and solar

The signatories support the government’s stated desire to deliver the low carbon transition in a way that provides the best deal for the British public.

However, in the letter they remind Cameron that ‘this will be harder to achieve following the decision to withdraw support for two of the most cost effective means of generating clean electricity: wind and solar PV, which with appropriate planning and environmental controls, can help meet the nation’s energy needs.’

Onshore wind support cut – government to reduce support for the cheapest large-scale renewable energy option

Bees and water

With respect to the natural world, the environmental leaders express dismay that drilling for shale gas and oil is to be allowed in areas used for drinking water, and that ‘a proposed ban from government on shale gas and oil exploration and extraction in the most nature rich parts of the country has been dropped.’

They also express concern that the ban on neonicotinoids, linked to declining bee populations, has been lifted in key areas.

Neonicotinoid ban lifted – government allows farmers to use ‘banned’ pesticide

Click here to read the full open letter, signed by leaders of IEEP, Friends of the Earth, RSPB, National Trust, The Wildlife Trusts, Campaign for Better Transport, WWF UK, Greenpeace UK, CPRE and Green Alliance.

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