Responding to the government's Environmental Improvement Plan published today, Director of the Conservative Environment Network Sam Hall commented:
"I warmly welcome this detailed and comprehensive plan to clean up the air and waterways, restore nature, and tackle waste. The new Defra ministerial team deserves significant credit for developing this programme in just a few months, refocusing the department on delivery, and raising ambition in important areas such as access to nature.
"We won't protect our environment without farmers, which is why it's brilliant to see specifics on how the new Environmental Land Management schemes will be used to help meet many of these targets. This will help safeguard the environmental ambition of the schemes and strengthen the political case for maintaining the farm budget after 2024. Public money alone won't be enough to turn the tide on nature's decline, so it's critical Defra uses the updated Green Finance Strategy to create the standards and regulatory frameworks to unlock private finance for nature.
"I'm delighted the government has adopted another policy from CEN's water manifesto to raise water efficiency standards in new homes. The commitments to create new habitat are particularly welcome in light of the recent global agreement to protect 30% of our land area for nature by 2030. In their forthcoming '30x30' delivery plan, ministers should consider a new wildbelt designation and clear nature recovery duties for national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty. These measures would also boost the public's access to nature."