1 April 2021
The Green Party has reiterated a call for a ‘State of Nature’ clause being included in the delayed Environment Bill which would require the government to set a legally binding target of 2030 to halt and reverse the decline of nature.
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas supported an amendment to the bill, with the target seen as a vital way to hold ministers to account; without the amendment, opportunities to save the natural world from irreversible damage would be lost.
Locally in our city, the extent and diversity of habitats in Southampton is declining and becoming increasingly fragmented as more areas are developed. The city's rivers, estuaries and coastal areas are polluted and under increasing pressure from development, industry and human activities. As well as being crucial for biodiversity and ecosystem services, green spaces are vital for local people’s health and wellbeing.
The Southampton and District Green Party supports Southampton City Council’s existing Green City Charter but, where there have been failings in terms of targets, we would work to rectify this. Katherine Barbour, Green Party candidate for Portswood, explains:
“We would ensure that Southampton is a city that shares its space with wildlife, through high quality and varied habitats, well-managed, well-connected green and blue infrastructure and communities invested in looking after their local green spaces. Residents would also be happier and healthier thanks to improved provision for active travel and better access to nature.”
We live in one of the most nature-depleted nations in the world, with 15% of our species on the brink of extinction and just under half of UK wildlife in long term decline. Now, more than ever, the government and local councils must listen to these demands and protect the natural world they are failing so badly.