Government's green credentials put to the test

Publication of the natural environment white paper due today
Publication of the natural environment white paper due today

By Phil Scullion

David Cameron's promise to lead the greenest government ever is to be tested later today with the publication of the natural environment white paper.

This represents the first major policy statement on the natural environment for 20 years and is expected to lean heavily upon last week's National Ecosystems Assessment (NEA).

The NEA attempted to quantify the value of nature to the UK economy, estimating it is worth over £30 billion a year in health and welfare benefits.

However, Paul de Zylva, Friends of the Earth campaigner, warned: "Putting a price on nature is no substitute for political change that helps the natural world we all depend on to thrive - such as protecting forests from development and supporting planet-friendly farming.

"David Cameron must see to it that every department across Whitehall plays a part in cutting emissions and building a greener, wildlife-rich future."

Over 15,000 people and organisations contributed during the consultation stage of the white paper.


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