Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Liberal Democrats try to win back the green vote

The Liberal Democrats are promising to place Britain's forests in a protected trust to stop them ever being sold off, as was proposed in the early months of the Coalition.

According to the Guardian, this measure will be contained in a nature bill that is being drawn up by the party to bring in greater protections for the environment. It will be put to the party's autumn conference for possible inclusion in the its manifesto for the next general election. Dan Rogerson appears to be the moving spirit behind it.

Its reports says:
Under the plans, the Lib Dems are suggesting a target of more than 700,000 trees per year, or 3.5m over the course of a parliament, which is threefold the number due to be planted under the coalition's Big Tree Plant scheme that covers built-up areas. It would mean a new tree for every child born over the next five years. 
The bill would include targets for clean air and water, a plan to stop natural resources such as peat and wood being harvested at an unsustainable level and put British forests into a trust to stop them being privatised. 
It would also increase the penalties for enforcement and punishment of environmental crime such as deliberate water pollution and wildlife crime and use the proceeds for these increased penalties to fund the National Wildlife Crime Unit and the sector of the Environment Agency that tackles pollution-related crime.
Though I could never get too outraged at the prospect of conifer plantations grown for cropping being privately owned, I am pleased to hear of this planned bill, because there are many in the party who seem content to see our green voters go.

I am one of many who grew up on the slogan "Think global, act local," but showing a concern for your local environment today can make you a "nimby". Neither the infrastructure fanatics nor the severe economic liberals have much time for your local woodland if someone wants to build on it.

Meanwhile, those who do care for the environment tend to be more interested in staving off climate change than local campaigns.

So all power to Dan Rogerson and his 700,000 trees a year.

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