THE Government is behaving recklessly towards nature and putting it in “grave danger”, the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham Usher, has said.
In an article published on the Church Times website this week, Bishop Usher, who is the C of E’s lead bishop on the environment, writes: “The triple set of nature-slashing proposals last week — investment zones, ending EU nature laws, and the possibility of scrapping the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) — threaten to rip up not only the recommendations of the Dasgupta HM Treasury commissioned report, but also our long-established (and fought-for) environmental protections.
“The Government’s rhetoric of pitting nature and climate action against investment and growth, and calling internationally agreed environmental protections ‘burdens’, needs to be challenged urgently.”
Bishop Usher also criticises the proposed creation of “38 tax-cutting Investment Zones in England”, which the Government hopes will encourage housing development.
“The Government’s mantra of ‘cutting red tape’ will simply result in more pollution pouring into our rivers, the extinction of threatened species, the scrubbing up of habitats with rare flora and fauna, and development running roughshod over landscapes that should be treasured. Profit wins over protecting the planet.”
The Bishop concludes: “The Government’s recklessness with nature is a travesty. The Government fails to understand that healthy nature underpins a healthy society and a healthy economy. The proposals must be resisted. Now is the time for us to be the voice to protect God’s creation.”
Read the full article here