Chris Packham urges parties to step up green pledges before general election

Chris Packham has joined more than 80 charities to back the Nature 2030 drive – a five-point plan to restore our environment by 2030.

It seeks to make polluters pay for restoration, double the wildlife-friendly farming budget and a large-scale green jobs scheme.

Other demands are cash and protection for wildlife sites and guaranteed environmental rights.

In addition, campaigners say clean air and water and access to nature should be a human right.

They have called on politicians to get behind the proposals in their general election manifestos.

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Richard Benwell, of Wildlife and Countryside Link, said: “Next year, the environment will be a major election battleground.

“Like rivals in an Attenborough film, politicians will be vying to be seen to be greener.

“But vague promises to be nice to nature simply won’t suffice.”

Last week, Springwatch host Chris, 62, told MPs farmers should have to protect nature by law. He said: “We’ve just been through a Covid crisis when mandatory regulation was implicitly important for all of our safety.

“So I would argue, when it comes to addressing climate change and biodiversity loss…some mandatory policies would probably be really helpful.”

Meanwhile, a UK poll has shown only about one in 10 thinks the Government is doing well in key environmental areas.

Only a maximum 21 percent of Tory voters praised the Government on any key nature issue.

National Trust director-general Hilary McGrady said: “The UK remains one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world.

“Political parties have a simple choice ahead of them – commit to action to support nature or face complicity in its collapse.”

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Chris’s stepdaughter and fellow wildlife presenter Megan McCubbin, “Birdgirl” ornithologist and campaigner Mya-Rose Craig and explorer Steve Backshall have also backed the Nature 2030 campaign.

They are joined by the RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, Friends of the Earth and Oceana.

Mya-Rose, 21, said: “We have to take action for nature if we want to take action for people.”

Wildlife Trusts CEO Craig Bennett said:“Commitments to end nature’s decline by 2030 can’t just be warm words on the lips.

“A major shift in ambition for nature is needed at the heart of parties’ manifestos.”

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