Don’t let the Growth Plan trash our natural environment
The Growth Plan 2022, published by HM Treasury 23 September, which makes growth the Government’s “central economic mission”, neither recognises nor acknowledges the financial and societal value of natural resources to people in the UK.
Instead, the plan makes clear the Government’s intent to revoke vital EU-derived environmental laws that provide much needed protection for at-risk and vulnerable wildlife and habitats that are of national and international importance.
Succumbing to a flawed and unproven dogma, the authors of the plan would have it that these laws and the protections that they provide are obstacles to economic growth, home ownership and the provision of new infrastructure, and must be removed “to drive higher growth”.
On that day, too, to expedite the removal of these laws Defra introduced to Parliament its Retained EU Laws (Revocation and Reform) Bill.
The Government is reneging on its previous pivotal commitment, made in its response to ‘The Economics of Biodiversity The Dasgupta Review’ (July 2021), to “(1) delivering a ‘nature positive’ future, in which we leave the environment in a better state than we found it, and reverse biodiversity loss globally by 2030; and (2) ensuring economic and financial decision-making, and the systems and institutions that underpin it, supports the delivery of that nature positive future”.
No matter that the then Government agreed with the Dasgupta Review’s fundamental conclusion that “nature, and the biodiversity that underpins it, ultimately sustains our economies, livelihoods and well-being, and so our decisions must take into account the true value of the goods and services we derive from it” (The Economics of Biodiversity. The Dasgupta Review. Government Response, presented to Parliament by the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, July 2021).
The Growth Plan 2022 neither recognises nor acknowledges the financial and societal value of natural resources to people in the UK.
How will the abolition of these laws impact on nature and the ability to combat Climate Change?
Have MPs read the Government’s response to the Dasgupta Review?
Have they examined the ONS’s UK Natural Capital Accounts: 2021, which estimates ‘the financial and societal value of natural resources to people in the UK’?
They should note the advice therein that “The natural world supports all life on earth, and its collapse would precipitate our own”.
Please write to your MP telling them that you value the natural world and they should too.
Dr Roger F Smith, Trustee CPRE Sussex