A Resilient Economy, Healthy Communities and the Natural World

Posted on 13th May 2020

Dear Prime Minister,

Re: A Resilient Economy, Healthy Communities and the Natural World

It is now clearer than ever before that the health of humanity is inextricably bound to the health of our planet. Your government has the opportunity to show global leadership, forging a path out of this crisis by putting a resilient economy, healthy communities, and a thriving natural world at the heart of the relief and recovery effort. We call on you to:

Create A More Resilient Economy – Invest in infrastructure, technology and skills to generate thousands of new jobs that directly contribute to a climate-safe future. Exclude high-carbon infrastructure, such as road-building and airport expansion, from being prioritised in public and private finance by putting every measure in the economic recovery package through a ‘net-zero test’.

Increase Space for Wildlife and People – Place the health and wellbeing of people and nature at the heart of the recovery by increasing access to nature-rich green space for everyone, as well as restoring and protecting our wild places on land and sea. Invest in nature-based projects, incentivise walking and cycling, and support sustainable food, farming and fishing.

Strengthen Nature’s Protections – Tighten the laws that ensure the natural world is protected not exploited, by ensuring the swift passage of environmental legislation, especially that needed as we leave the EU Transition phase. Rapidly scale up the implementation, monitoring and enforcement of our environmental protections (including on animal welfare) – and introduce targets in law across the UK for the restoration of nature on a massive scale.

Build Global Ambition – Lead the world in tackling the climate crisis and restoring nature by bringing global leaders together to plan for a green and sustainable recovery in the run-up to the United Nations COP26 event in Glasgow next year – making the most of the UK’s Presidency of the G7 in 2021, as well as cooperation with China in the run-up to the equally important CBD COP15. Reducing our collective global footprint on nature is of the utmost importance.

This crisis has shown us the power of the collective human spirit – the value of community, friendship, and hope. There will be difficult choices in the weeks and months ahead as your government leads us out of this crisis. In doing so, we ask you to create something better and lead our countries to a new normal: a climate-safe, nature-rich, healthy world for all.

We would welcome the opportunity to meet you to discuss these principles – alongside relevant cabinet colleagues and heads of agencies – and would be happy to host such a meeting. In the meantime, we wish you all the best with the relief and recovery efforts over the coming weeks and months.

Yours sincerely,

Craig Bennett – Chief Executive, The Wildlife Trusts
Hilary McGrady – Director General, National Trust 
Bella Lack – Nature Writer and Campaigner
Richard Walker – Managing Director, Iceland Foods
Becky Speight – Chief Executive, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
Anuradha Chugh – Managing Director, Ben & Jerry’s Europe
Kevin McCloud MBE – Journalist and Presenter
David Thomas – Group Chief Executive, Barratt Developments plc
Dara McNulty – Nature Writer and Campaigner
Richard Benwell – Director, Wildlife and Countryside Link
David P. Boynton – Chief Executive, The Body Shop
Shaun Spiers – Executive Director, Green Alliance
Deborah Meaden – Business Leader
Holly Gillibrand – Climate Campaigner and Writer
Hugo Tagholm – Chief Executive Office, Surfers Against Sewage
Bevis Watts – Chief Executive Officer, Triodos Bank UK
John Sauven – Executive Director, Greenpeace UK
Louisa Ziane – Chief Operating Office, Toast Ale
Chris Packham – BBC Wildlife Presenter
Canon Giles Goddard – Co-founder, Faith for the Climate
Darren Moorcroft – Chief Executive, The Woodland Trust
Peter Holbrook CBE – Chief Executive Officer, Social Enterprise UK
Tanya Curry – Director, Ramblers UK
Martin Bunch – Managing Partner, Bates Wells
Juliet Davenport – Executive Director, Good Energy
Jerome Flynn – Actor and Campaigner
Martin Lines – Chair, Nature Friendly Farming Network
Ben Cullen – Managing Director, Olio
Richard McIlwain – Deputy Chief Executive, Keep Britain Tidy
Shane Holland – Chief Executive Officer, Slow Food UK
Abigail Forsyth – Executive Director, KeepCup
Chris Tuckett – Director of Programmes, Marine Conservation Society
Ian Dunn – Chief Executive, Plantlife
Dominic Dyer – Chief Executive Officer, the Badger Trust
Matt Shardlow – Chief Executive Officer, Buglife
David Bunt – Chairman, Institute of Fisheries Management
Corinne Pluchino – Chief Executive, Campaign for National Parks
Dr. James Robinson – Director, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
Julie Williams – CEO, Butterfly Conservation Trust
Susie Hewson, CEO of Natracare
Crispin Truman OBE – Chief Executive, CPRE The countryside charity
Kate Ashbrook – General Secretary, Open Spaces Society
Kate Metcalf – Co-Director, Women’s Environmental Network
Prof. Alastair Driver FCIEEM – CEO, Rewilding Britain
Chris Butler-Stroud – CEO, Whale and Dolphin Conservation
Steve Andrews – CEO, EarthWatch
Kit Stoner – Chief Executive, Bat Conservation Trust
Dr. Michael Warhurt – Executive Director, CHEM Trust
Jeremy Biggs – Co-founder and Director, Freshwater Habitats Trust
Paul Knight – Chief Executive, Salmon and Trout Conservation
Paul Cox – Managing Director, Shark Trust
David Greenfield – Director, Circular Economy Club
Jamie Cook – Chief Executive, Angling Trust
Nicky Bull – Chair, Operation Noah
Jill Nelson, Chief Executive – People’s Trust for Endangered Species
Stuart Dawks – CEO, Peterborough Environment City Trust
Jaqueline Bourne, Chair – One World Voice
Sue Riddlestone – Director, Bioregional
Matt Godfroy – MD, SunFresh Produce UK Youth for Nature

For more information on this letter, please contact:
Chris Venables – Head of Politics, Green Alliance – cvenables@green-alliance.org.uk
Sarah Whitebread – Head of External Affairs, RSPB – sarah.whitebread@rspb.org.uk
Natasha Yorke-Edgell – Head of Campaigns, RSPB – natasha.yorke-edgell@rspb.org.uk