NB This was written back in July, but it looks like I forgot to press the publish button, so it has been in draft form.
I have been holding off writing much lately, because the string of self-serving policies the Government has been announcing has just left me a bit dumbstruck.
But today Cameron and Osborne have driven even the AA, the motorists lobby group, to put its name to that of the National Trust, the RSPB, the Council for the Protection of Rural England, Greenpeace, the Wildlife Trusts (including Suffolk) the World Wildlife Fund, Friends of the Earth and various other groups in writing a letter to the David Cameron warning that they are weakening environmental policy in 10 areas which is likely to wreck our chances of meeting targets for cutting carbon and avoiding runaway climate change.
In its latest budget the government is removing the tax break on hybrid vehicles but keeping one just for electric vehicles. What this is likely to mean is that manufacturers will have no incentive to develop a new generation of hybrid vehicles – which were seen as the stepping stone towards fully electric ones.
“Since May, the government has ended subsidies for wind and solar power, increased taxes on renewable energy, axed plans for zero carbon homes, and closed its flagship energy efficiency scheme without a replacement. It also made a U-turn on banning fracking in Britain’s most important nature sites, and lifted a ban in some parts of the country on pesticides linked to bee declines.
Stephanie Hilborne OBE, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts, which represents 47 local wildlife groups across the UK, said: “This list of recent policy reversals is shocking, and shows disregard for the health and wellbeing of current and future generations, as well as for the environment we all depend on.”
“We would encourage you to resolve some of the contradictions that have emerged between the stated intentions of government and the actions of your ministers in its first period in office,” the groups said in the letter, which was also signed by Friends of the Earth, WWF, the Wildlife Trusts, and the Campaign To Protect Rural England (CPRE).
The ban on neo-nicotinoids, by the way, the pesticides linked to deaths of bees, applies to THIS part of the country, East Anglia.