Politics and the Environment

Politics and the Environment

A healthy environment isn’t just “nice to have” – it provides us with clean air and water, a secure food supply, regulates our climate and supports numerous industries. It’s therefore critical for our health, our wellbeing and our economy.

Yet every day, politicians, businesses and even members of the public make decisions which collectively have huge impacts on the state of nature, with serious implications for our future lives and livelihoods.

Kent Wildlife Trust works with decision makers across government, industries and communities, empowering them to influence and deliver conservation benefits. 

 

How you can help

Our vision is to create a Wilder Kent: to restore nature on a massive scale. 

This means bringing back an abundance and diversity of wildlife, right across the county, which will make us more resilient to climate change.  It also means helping more people access nature every day.

The small, everyday actions that you can take – like buying local, growing insect-friendly plants or volunteering for your local Wildlife Trust - can add up to a big difference.  But for an even bigger change, we need government and industries to change their policies and systems.

How does politics affect the environment?

Local and national policies can affect the environment in lots of ways, from providing household recycling services to requiring industries to assess their environmental impacts and make changes to protect and restore our natural assets.  By telling your local MP (Member of Parliament), MEP (Member of European Parliament) or councillor what's important to you, you can help them make decisions on existing and future policies.  Find your MP, MEP or councillor here.

How does Kent Wildlife Trust influence politicians?

We use a range of tactics to help politicians understand and take action on environmental challenges and opportunities.  Recent activities include:

  • Organising a group to attend a Mass Climate Lobby in Westminster to demand that Government take urgent action to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions.
  • Leading on a Joint Statement from Local Nature and Enterprise Partnerships across the South East to show MPs that it’s not just conservation experts who want strong environmental laws; local businesses and industry leads also believe they are critical to securing a safe, sustainable future. 
  • Meeting individual MPs to explain the environmental impacts of developments in their constituency and offer support to take action.
  • Providing targeted briefings to help MPs participate effectively in parliamentary debates on the Environment Bill and on Natural Solutions to Climate Change.

What's going on at the moment and why does it matter?

In June 2016 the UK voted to leave the EU. Environmental organisations across the UK recognise that this is a pivotal point for the environment and believe we must work together to ensure that future UK laws are at least as strong, and preferably stronger, than equivalent European laws. We are working together in a collaboration called Greener UK to help develop these laws.

It is critical that they cover 3 areas:

  1. An ambitious Environment Act with legally binding targets to restore nature, a powerful, independent environmental watchdog, and a system to create a Nature Recovery Network to protect and join-up important places for wildlife.
  2. An Agriculture Bill that pays farmers for helping wildlife and for rebuilding our natural countryside, so that public money is used for the good of everyone and farmers help create a connected landscape.
  3. A new Marine Strategy to guide how we develop at sea, how we fish within environmental limits and how we restore our marine ecosystems to support plentiful fish and wildlife.

How can I help?

  • Tell your MP, MEP or councillor why the environment is important to you and what you want them to do to help.  Find your MP, MEP or councillor here.
  • Talk to your friends and family, and share on social media, to show how important you think the environment is.  You can use our graphic below on this page.
  • Drop by regularly, or follow us on social media to find out about our current campaigns.

Political impartiality

Kent Wildlife Trust is politically impartial, meaning that we do not support a particular candidate or party.  Nonetheless, it is our duty to express views on issues of public policy that relate directly to our charitable objectives.  Many advances in social and environmental policy have been secured as a result of charities advocating beneficial changes and all our lives are better for it.  The policies that any current or future UK government might adopt could have significant impacts, both positive and negative, on the achievement of our charitable aims: to protect and restore nature, for the benefit of wildlife and people.  Achieving these aims is most likely if given long-term, cross-party support.  We therefore work hard to encourage all parties to recognise the importance of protecting and restoring our wildlife.

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