PM’s green speech: Action needed now to tackle toxic air and climate-wrecking pollution, says Friends of the Earth

12th January 2018

We can’t afford to wait 25 years to tackle threats to our health and the planet

Reacting to Theresa May’s green speech and publication of the government’s 25 year plan for the environment today, Friends of the Earth’s CEO Craig Bennett who attended the Prime Minister’s speech and launch of the government’s 25 year environment plan said:

“A long-term vison for protecting our environment is essential, but the government can’t keep turning a blind eye to the urgent action needed now to protect our health and planet from toxic air and climate-wrecking pollution.

“It’s time to stop tinkering at the margins and get to the heart of the problems – especially the nation’s fossil fuels addiction.

“Ministers must pull the plug on coal, gas and oil, end its support for fracking and develop the UK’s huge renewable power potential.

“25 years is a long way off – particularly for a government that might not last 25 weeks. We need action now.”

Commenting on the government’s pledge to end avoidable plastic waste in 25 years, Friends of the Earth waste campaigner Julian Kirby said: 

“If it’s avoidable waste, why is it taking us a quarter of a century to get there? The government – and Mr. Gove in particular – have made bold statements about ending plastic pollution, but so far their record doesn’t match the rhetoric.

“Under the Conservative’s, English recycling rates have stalled and we’re burning ever more recyclable waste, even though in 2010 they committed to a ‘zero waste economy’.

“Plastic pollution is toxic for life and must be stopped at source – governments must act now to ensure the firms responsible for creating this plastic mess take responsibility clearing it up and preventing it.”