• Lost opportunity to create nature recovery jobs
• Government fails to invest in nature and natural solutions to the climate crisis
Today’s announcement by Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has disappointed hopes of a green recovery – his only reference was to energy efficiency in homes. The Wildlife Trusts recently published a report which highlighted the role that restoring nature can play in tackling the climate crisis, creating green jobs and benefitting people’s wellbeing. Nature is in sharp decline and restoring it can have multiple benefits.
Commenting on the Chancellor’s economic recovery announcement today, Craig Bennett, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts, said: “The money allocated in the Government’s recovery package to help restore nature falls embarrassingly short of what is needed tackle the twin emergencies we face – climate change and nature loss. While other countries are setting out bold green stimulus packages, the Government is investing just 0.15% in nature projects compared to the £27bn investment in destructive new road building schemes. “The Government’s own advisor on climate change has said investment in nature should be a priority as we seek to rebuild from the Covid-19 pandemic - offering a quick route to opportunities for highly-skilled employment, while improving people’s lives and tackling climate change. It’s clear that this advice has been largely ignored and that the recovery will come at nature’s expense. Proposals to rip up vital environmental protections in the planning system and repeated delays to the Environment Bill – once described by the Prime Minister as the “huge star” of the Government’s programme – means the Government is a long way off track in keeping its promise to build back greener. The Wildlife Trusts, alongside other environmental charities, have submitted over 300 ‘shovel-ready’ green recovery projects to Government. These could start immediately and would help protect vulnerable species and tackle climate change, and create thousands of jobs in the process. They’d also provide better access to nature communities and improve people’s lives. It’s time the Government committed a green recovery and properly invested in nature’s recovery to deliver it.”