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Environment Act Targets need to lift their game- have your say

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“Nature is in decline worldwide, with this decline projected to continue or worsen. We need to take urgent action to halt biodiversity loss to meet our commitment to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it. Our future target to halt the decline in species by 2030 embodies that commitment” (DEFRA, 2022)

Forest track

Despite the rhetoric, the Government’s targets for the Environment Act are viewed as patchy at best and unlikely to achieve their own stated aim of leaving the environment in a better state.

The DEFRA consultation runs until the 11th May and asks for feedback on areas including – waste, air pollution, water pollution and nature’s decline.

There have been overall concerns about the robustness of the consultation process; with many key documents being unpublished as the commencement of the process and a short eight week timeframe providing little time for people to get their heads around quite complex and important issues.

Friends of the Earth have produced a guide to responding to make this as easy as possible.

In addition, Wildlife and Countryside Link have produced a summary of their concerns and list of the areas where the targets could be improved. In addition, we have added further links and information on the areas of air quality and forest protection.

Air pollution

Regarding Air quality – Manchester Friends of the Earth feels that the target proposed by the Government of reaching a new average concentration target for particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution 10 ug/m3 by 2040 is wholly inadequate.

In keeping with the latest guidance from the World Health Organisation, this should instead be 5ug/m3 by 2030 to minimise the devastating impact poor air quality is having on people’s health across the country.

We would encourage you to see the website sites of Mums for Lungs Website and Client Earth for more details on this.

Clean Air Greater Manchester

Nature’s decline – including forest protection.

According to Client Earth, the Act currently only restricts forest products being imported into the UK that are produced ‘illegally’ under producer country laws. But about one-third of global tropical deforestation is considered ‘legal’ under local laws, and therefore would do little to curb the deforestation of the world’s rainforests.

See Client Earth’s briefing for more details.

Here is a link to Defra’s website page for the consultation if you would like to read it in detail.

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