Comment on new legally binding targets published under the Environment Act

Matthew Williams is available for further comment and interview.

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By George Smeeton

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Commenting on new legally binding targets published by the Government under the Environment Act [1], Matt Williams, land analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), said:

"New national targets show the UK is planning to turn global nature goals, currently being negotiated in Canada, into action back home. But some may question how serious the Government is, given there's no target whatsoever for the health of nature reserves - some of the most important areas for storing carbon and providing a home for wildlife. A target for increasing the number of trees - crucial for storing carbon - looks less ambitious than many had hoped, and like it will let England off the hook, relying on greater effort from the other UK nations.

"In recent years for climate change we've seen legally binding targets send a strong signal and stimulate private investment in renewable energy and low-carbon transport. The hope will be that these targets for nature do the same, stimulating private investment in restoring forests, hedgerows, and peatlands that can absorb carbon and help tackle climate change, including to support farmers to do so."

Notes to editors:

  1. The Government yesterday published new legally binding targets under the Environment Act.