Labour Manifesto 2017:
Investing in our environment is investing in our future. We will defend and extend existing environmental protections. We will champion sustainable farming, food and fishing by investing in and promoting skills, technology, market access and innovation.
The Conservatives broke their promise to be the greenest government ever. They have allowed fracking in national parks, evaded their responsibilities on air quality and cut the funding for flood defences. The future of our farming, food and fishing industries hangs in the balance, to be used as leverage in Brexit negotiations.
Only a Labour government will prioritise a sustainable, long-term future for our farming, fishing and food industries, fund robust food resilience, invest in rural and coastal communities, and guarantee the protection and advancement of environmental quality standards.
The Conservatives’ threatened bonfire of red tape’ is a threat to our environmental protections and to the quality of our lives. Their record on combating climate change and environmental damage has been one of inaction and broken promises.
The balance needs resetting: our air is killing us, our farms face an uncertain future, our fish stocks are collapsing, our oceans are used as dumping grounds, and our forests, green belt, national parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest are all under threat.
Labour will introduce a new Clean Air Act to deal with the Conservative legacy of illegal air quality. We will safeguard habitats and species in the ‘blue belts’ of the seas and oceans surrounding our island. We will set guiding targets for plastic bottle deposit schemes, working with food manufacturers and retailers to reduce waste. We will protect our bees by prohibiting neonicotinoids as soon as our EU relationship allows us to do so. We will work with farmers and foresters to plant a million trees of native species to promote biodiversity and better food management. Unlike the Conservatives who attempted to privatise our forests, Labour will keep them in public hands.
Our stewardship of the environment needs to be founded on sound principles and based on scientific assessments. We will establish a science innovation fund, working with farmers and fisheries, that will include support for our small scale fishing fleet.