As well as telling us how much more we’ll have to pay for a pint of beer or a litre of petrol, the UK Budget on 21 March may prove to be one of the most significant moments the environment has faced in more than three decades.
In 2011, the Chancellor described hard-won legal protections for our most precious wildlife sites, as a “ridiculous cost on British business”. Here’s hoping that he had a good break over Christmas, feels refreshed and will take a different view in 2012.
Accepting that the Chancellor needs to deliver economic growth and create jobs in the face of an enormous economic challenge, what is not accepted is that the environment is a barrier to success. Instead of environmentally destructive and high carbon, how about sustainable growth that acknowledges the value of the natural world that sustains us? Instead of a Thames Estuary Airport that will destroy areas internationally acknowledged as important for wildlife and blow any chance we have of meeting our commitments to help avoid catastrophic climate change, how about the Chancellor looking to the London Gateway port development as an example of how infrastructure projects should be done?
Step up for nature and e-mail the Chancellor today. Urge him to use his Budget statement on 21 March to put the environment at the heart of the UK’s economic recovery. To take part (it only takes a few moments) please click here February 2012