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Five-year delivery plan to create a greener country, restore nature and improve the environmental quality of the air, our waters and our land
Plans to restore nature, improve environmental quality, and increase the prosperity of our country will be set out by the government as it publishes its Environmental Improvement Plan 2023.
Building on the vision set out five years ago in the 25 Year Environment Plan, with new powers and duties from the Environment Act, Agriculture Act and Fisheries Act, it provides a comprehensive delivery plan for the government’s approach to halting and then reversing the decline in nature.
This was the central target agreed in the new global deal for nature at the UN Nature Summit COP15 in December, which UK leadership helped deliver. The plan published today underpins that ambition domestically, with progress measured against stretching interim targets.
It will be unveiled by the Environment Secretary Dr Thérèse Coffey at a keynote speech this morning.
The public will also benefit from a greener country with a new commitment to access green space or water within a 15-minute walk from their home, such as woodlands, wetlands, parks and rivers.
Protecting our natural environment is fundamental to the health, economy and prosperity of our country.
This plan provides the blueprint for how we will deliver our commitment to leave our environment in a better state than we found it, making sure we drive forward progress with renewed ambition and achieve our target of not just halting, but reversing the decline of nature.
Our Environmental Improvement Plan sets out how we will continue to improve our environment here in the UK and around the world. Nature is vital for our survival, crucial to our food security, clean air, and clean water as well as health and well-being benefits.
We have already started the journey and we have seen improvements. We are transforming financial support for farmers and landowners to prioritise improving the environment, we are stepping up on tree planting, we have cleaner air, we have put a spotlight on water quality and rivers and are forcing industry to clean up its act.
Whether you live in a city or town, in the countryside or on the coast, join us in our national endeavour to improve the environment.
The plan sets out a clear framework to ensure progress for a greener country can be clearly tracked.
The environmental principles policy statement will also be published today. It means that, from 1 November 2023, environmental protection and enhancement will be embedded into the design and development of new policy across Government.
We are facing into a series of environmental challenges that are very serious, pressing and which are connected to one another. If we are to take effective action then we will need an ambitious and integrated plan that is geared up to meeting some very challenging targets. That plan and those targets are now live. The package is broad and most welcome and important. It will now require efforts across government and across society to translate its intent into action.
This can be done, so long as priority is attached to it and we remain focused on joined-up delivery. Success will not only bring benefits for our depleted natural environment, but also for jobs, food and water security, health and investment.
We all need to work together to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, to address the steep decline in biodiversity, to better connect people with the natural world around them, and to create the green jobs of the future. Trees are at the very heart of this – the Forestry Commission has a key role to play in helping the Government achieve the targets laid out in this ambitious blueprint for a greener country and we look forward to doing so.
The Environment Agency welcomes the publication of the Environmental Improvement Plan to address the climate and nature crisis, building on the foundations set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan.
The Environment Agency provided input to the plan and we will play a major role in delivering it, including through our work on flooding, our protection and enhancement of nature, and through our regulation, monitoring, and enforcement.
Rapidly restoring nature and reversing its decline is essential for economic prosperity, the wellbeing of society and the UK’s ability to adapt to climate change. It will require all parts of society and the economy to collaborate on environmental improvements as well as careful co-ordination between the UK’s climate and environmental targets.
Through the publication of today’s Environmental Improvement Plan, the Government has taken an important step forward, by bringing together in one place its vision for the environment and a delivery plan to drive progress. The Government must now build on the objectives and policy commitments contained in the delivery plan and proceed at pace with the specific policy measures that will drive private investment over the next 5 years in biodiversity, air and water quality, resource efficiency and other key environmental improvements. Providing clarity on the near- and long-term policy commitments is essential to unlock significant private sector investment and ensure businesses play their part in restoring nature.”
Finally, it is welcome to see the publication of the Environmental Principles Policy Statement. A comprehensive and rapid implementation of environmental principles across all government departments is essential to drive coherent policy making and ensure every opportunity is taken to drive environmental improvements and prevent harm at an early stage.
CarbonStore would be delighted to help you deliver a woodland-based carbon mitigation project that not only achieves the highest possible standards in carbon offsetting but also offers many widespread benefits which we can all enjoy.
Please contact David McCulloch, the head of CarbonStore, personally either by email (email@example.com) or by phone (07500 950832).