Last week, 11 environmental NGOs wrote to TM the PM and then she called a general election.
Here is the letter:
Dear Prime Minister,
We are alarmed by recent media reports suggesting that the UK’s commitments to tackling climate change and ending the illegal wildlife trade could be watered down to secure post-Brexit trade deals.
The UK Government has repeatedly promised to leave the environment in a better state for future generations, and the majority of Conservative voters support maintaining environmental protections.
We are already seeing the effects of climate change in the UK and globally, especially on the world’s poorest people. Many countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia are wildlife-rich and among those on the front line of climate change, and want to develop their economies sustainably. In the UK, the State of Nature report showed that more than half of our wildlife is in decline.
To be a great, global trading nation, the UK must deliver on its promises for the environment and the climate and honour our international commitments. In doing so we will help build a greener, better and more prosperous future for everyone, rather than driving an environmental race to the bottom.
Signed by WWF, Born Free Foundation, CAFOD, Christian Aid, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Green Alliance, Oxfam GB, RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts and a whole bunch of celebrities.
It’s good to see joint action, but it’s a slightly odd letter isn’t it? It starts by focussing on climate change and illegal trade and ends by suggesting that to be a great trading nation (whatever that is) we must honour our international environmental commitments (which seems unlikely to be true to me). Surely we should honour our international commitments because we are the type of people who keep our word? And there is a random reference to the State of Nature report (to get RSPB and the Wildlife Trusts on board?).
I’m a bit old-fashioned in thinking that such letters ought to have an argument and a point. This one is muddled. OK for mood music but doesn’t appear as though this group of organisations have a clear or agreed agenda, just that they put something together without too much thought because it’s more important to get several names on board than that the letter makes sense. Still, it does seem to have prompted a general election.