Thank you for contacting me about the Environment Bill and about needing short term targets for nature’s recovery. I have read your email carefully and have noted the key points that you make.
The Environment Bill will place environmental ambition and accountability at the heart of Government and I am pleased that legislative measures will be introduced to address the biggest environmental priorities of our age. These will include meeting net-zero by 2050, as well as wider long-term legally binding targets on biodiversity, air quality, water, and resource and waste efficiency which will be established under the Bill.
Outside the EU, Britain can further develop its global gold standard environmental policies. For example, having left the Common Agricultural Policy we can use public money for public goods, rewarding environmentally responsible land use. By leaving the Common Fisheries Policy we will be able to grant access and allocate quotas based on sustainability, allowing us to pursue the highest standards in marine conservation.
Regarding nature recovery you mention, Ministers are launching a partnership to help deliver the biggest nature recovery project in England’s history, which will restore our depleted ecosystems and habitats.
The Nature Recovery Network Delivery Partnership, led by Natural England, will bring together representatives from over 600 organisations to drive forward the restoration of protected sites and landscapes and help provide at least 500,000 hectares of new wildlife-rich habitat across England. The Network will link together our very best nature rich places, restore landscapes in towns and the countryside and create new habitats for everybody to enjoy.
As well as making sure our existing protected sites are in the best possible condition, the Nature Recovery Network programme will recover threatened animal and plant species and create and connect new green and blue spaces such as wetlands, ponds, meadows, woodlands, and peatlands. It will engage conservation rangers and environmentally focused community-based projects and put lost features like hedgerows and trees back into our landscapes. These restored habitats will help address climate change through capturing carbon, while improving the quality of our air, water, and soil, and provide natural flood protection. They will also provide us all with places to enjoy and connect with nature and helping to improve our health and wellbeing.
You will also, I hope, be pleased to know that I am fighting hard locally to save all our precious green belt from future development and that I have recently had success in ensuring that Natural England will shortly review the boundaries of the Surrey Hills AONB, which should result in further important green areas receiving full and permanent AONB protection into the future. You can read more about this here.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me about these important matters.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking