07 March 2017
Government urged to ‘stop dithering’ and publish environment plan
Environmental campaigners are urging the Government to publish its long-term plan to address a "creeping catastrophe" .
The Conservative manifesto published in 2015 promised a 25-year plan to tackle environmental issues, in a bid to be the "first generation to leave the natural environment of England in a better state than that in which we found it".
Plans to launch a public consultation were temporarily shelved following the referendum in June last year.
Delays in publishing the document have caused a backlash from environmentalists who say a public debate should be launched imminently, rather than waiting for the triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which has been suggested by the Government.
Senior nature campaigner at Friends of the Earth, Paul de Zylva, said: " We can't wait for Brexit to be triggered. Tough measures are needed to safeguard the UK's rapidly deteriorating environment, with legal backing to make it effective.
"Ministers must stop dithering and launch their public debate about the 25-year environment plan now."
A spokeswoman for the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) says the Government is committed to publishing a long-term plan that sets forth its plans.
She added: "We want everyone to have a say on building policies that enable our environment to thrive, which is why we're working closely with a range of environmental and conservation groups and businesses to develop initial proposals and will shortly launch a public consultation on our ambition."