Lords debates natural environment
16 January 2015
Members of the Lords, including the Environment Agency chairman and a former president of the Royal Geographical Society, debated the importance of the natural environment and the need to reduce emissions, improve green transport and protect wildlife and green spaces on Thursday 15 January.
Members outlined the benefits we draw from the natural environment. We all rely on it for our clean air, water, food, energy and recreational opportunities.
Concerns over clean air were raised, in particular some unregulated types of diesel emissions. Members set out how green transport policies can improve air quality. Some argued for increased promotion of cycling, walking and public transport to improve public health.
The decline of some native animal and plant species was discussed. Greater legal protection of wildlife and natural spaces was called for and measures, such as a more joined-up strategy, were put forward.
Responding for the government, Lord De Mauley (Conservative), parliamentary under-secretary of state for natural environment and science, said the government is deeply committed to the natural environment. He highlighted some achievements including cleaner water, a reduction in key air pollutants and meeting emission reduction targets. He also set out some of the approaches the government is working on to help public bodies and local authorities protect the natural environment.
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