Friday, 22 March 2019

UK launches bid to host next UN climate change conference, and yet the UK is “among the most nature-depleted countries in the world”

In China, nobody can openly point to the government's trashing of the environment; instead, we have empty homilies to official gestures:
China plans ‘landmark’ biodiversity talks | China Dialogue

In the UK, the government doesn't go in for trashing the environment on quite the same monstrous scale; moreover, we can openly point to official empty gestures: 

UK will miss almost all its 2020 nature targets, says official report

Failure to protect wildlife, cut pollution and increase funding have left nature in ‘deep crisis’

Damian Carrington and Patrick Wintour

Fri 22 Mar 2019

The UK will miss almost all the 2020 nature targets it signed up to a decade ago, according to a report by the government’s official advisers.

The nation is failing to protect threatened species; end the degradation of land; reduce agricultural pollution; and increase funding for green schemes, the assessment concludes. It also says the UK is not ending unsustainable fishing; stopping the arrival of invasive alien species; nor raising public awareness of the importance of biodiversity.

The targets were set in 2010 by the global Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the report from the joint nature conservation committee (JNCC) found insufficient progress was being made on 14 of the 19 targets.

The news came on the day Britain formally launched its bid to host the UN climate change conference in 2020, seeking to prove its green credentials are not tarnished and to show the disarray that has been caused by Brexit does not mean the UK has forfeited its right to be a major international player.

Speaking at a launch event for the bid in Downing Street, the foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said: “Britain has an exceptional record of hosting big international events, ranging from the G20 summit in 2009 to the London Olympics in 2012.

“Most importantly of all, we are ambitious. If we are going to ensure that future generations do not pay a price for our prosperity today, we must collectively change our economies and societies. We believe this can be done and protecting the environment can go hand-in-hand with economic growth.”

Hunt has not yet said if the UK bid will involve London as the venue.

Critics of the government said the report showed wildlife and natural habitats were in deep crisis. The UK is “among the most nature-depleted countries in the world”, according to a separate 2016 report, with continuing declines in species such as skylarks, hedgehogs, many insects including butterflies and corn marigolds.


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