We need smart policy to improve our environment. The environmental challenges, from dealing with local ‘grotspots’ to climate change, are monumental. We have a responsibility to look after our environment and wildlife. This requires changes in all parts of our economy and in our behaviour, but if we work together we can deal with both.
If we want to be at the forefront of innovation in energy and get the most out of our resources and environment, we need to set and meet ambitious goals. We know the UK can exceed the target of 80% reductions in emissions between 1990 and 2050.
Litter is more than a blight on our landscape; it is an indication of wasted resources. We can work together to improve the areas where we live and at the same time deal with a threat to our world. Using new technologies for power generation and to fuel our cars will help a great deal too; we want to see investment in British engineering to bring about the changes and technology that we need.
There are simple solutions too, we support bringing in a bottle return scheme (paying for a deposit on bottles and cans which is given back when they are returned). This would reduce litter and the burden on recycling facilities, as well as changing attitudes towards our precious resources. Making polluters pay for the damage they do to our environment, whether they are big businesses or irresponsible landowners is the right thing to do.
Open spaces must be protected, land ownership must be transparent, our common heritage maintained and developers made to act responsibly. It is time for a fair environment policy. There should be a new focus on littered and polluted “problem” areas, and a more proactive Environment Agency.
Power generation will be a major issue facing the UK in the coming decade. The next government will have to put together an effective and environmentally sound policy to ensure we have the required generation capacity. We believe that the focus should be on renewable energy as well as investigating and developing new technologies, including nuclear, and continuing to improve the effectiveness of existing ones.
Removing public subsidies to fossil fuel and hydrocarbon production and focusing support on renewable production would help to continue the UK’s switch to cleaner, sustainable energy. We shouldn’t just focus on large generators though, continuing the feed-in tariff would will ensure that small scale renewable power generation remains attractive.