Boris Johnson must prioritize a green economic recovery in the UK after the coronavirus crisis, say the bosses of big companies.
They called for polluting industries “without an appropriate climate plan” to be excluded from government assistance.
Government advisers recently warned that the UK should not sink into a deeper climate crisis.
Johnson is expected to deliver a speech on Sunday, which could lead to a limited relaxation of the lockdown rules.
The Ministry of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the government “remains committed to being a world leader in tackling the big global challenges we face in terms of climate change and biodiversity loss “
As the United Kingdom eases restrictions and attempts to repair the damage to the economy caused by the crisis, leaders of more than 60 British organizations have called on the government to:
- Investing in infrastructure, technology and skills to create jobs that contribute to sustainability
- Exclude companies from “polluting industries” that do not have an adequate climate plan
- Restore ecosystems on land and in our oceans by encouraging walking and cycling
- Support sustainable food, agriculture and fishing
- Quickly adopt environmental laws and introduce targets into law to restore ecosystems
- Bringing together world leaders to plan for a sustainable economic recovery
The signers of an open letter to Boris Johnson were Iceland Foods, Barratt Developments, The Body Shop, Ben and Jerry’s, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the National Trust and Greenpeace UK.
Richard Walker, Managing Director of Iceland Foods, said: “The economic recovery from this global health crisis must put the restoration of nature at its heart – because this is the only way we can continue to fuel our human endeavor in a sustainable way. If nature is protected, we are protected. ”
Beccy Speight, director general of the RSPB, said, “The future of humanity is inextricably linked to the health of our planet. No part of the world is untouched by human activity, and as we continue our destruction of nature, we create our own planet. less habitable for people too. “
Hilary McGrady, Executive Director of the National Trust, said: “Right now, the country’s attention is rightly focused on tackling the immediate and far-reaching impact of the coronavirus on health, social fabric and livelihood.
“But as governments around the world turn to economic recovery, their plans must respond to what the lockdown has clearly shown; that people want and need to access nature-rich green spaces near their homes. “
The letter comes after government advisers warned that the UK should avoid moving from the coronavirus crisis to a deeper environmental crisis.
They said on Wednesday that ministers should ensure that funds for a post-coronavirus economic recovery are allocated to companies that will reduce carbon emissions.
The UK has already argued with other countries that tackling climate change must be part of the solution to the economic coronavirus crisis.
A government spokesperson said, “As we rebuild our economy in response to the coronavirus pandemic, we must continue to shape a cleaner, greener and more resilient economy and society.
“Our ambitious environmental, fishing and agricultural bills will allow us to protect and recover our precious natural environment and our diverse ecosystems in accordance with our 25-year environmental plan. “