The Prime Minister has today announced a 10-point plan to tackle climate change and create jobs. The 'green industrial revolution' plans aim to put the UK on track to net zero emissions by 2050.

In response to the announcement, Dr Darren Moorcroft, CEO at the Woodland Trust said:

“A green recovery worthy of the name must be as ambitious about tackling the nature crisis as it does the climate crisis, recognising that they are interconnected. We welcome the Government’s ambition when it comes to addressing climate change but the UK is one of the most nature depleted countries in the world, and although a £40 million investment in green spaces announced is a welcome first step, it is just a small step towards addressing the challenges facing our natural environment. We want to see clarity that this investment is in addition to the £640m Nature for Climate Fund and not simply money brought forward from that. The sums outlined this week are a fraction of the amount being spent on roads.”

“The 30,000 ha of trees a year commitment should be for England alone not just the UK and there should be a further scaling up of ambition after 2025. As well as planting more trees we need to protect the trees and woods that we already have in order to fully maximise the many other benefits they deliver on top of helping to achieve net zero emissions. The recent planning reforms announced by the Government fail to provide enough protection for valuable habitats such as ancient woodland, and a rethink in this area would demonstrate that the Government is serious about placing nature at the heart of a green recovery.

“The Government has placed a welcome rhetorical emphasis on the importance of nature based solutions. One of the best ways to demonstrate world leadership in this area in the build up to hosting the UN climate conference next year would be major investment in improving the natural environment announced in next week’s spending review. A green recovery that neglects nature is no green recovery at all.”

Notes to editors

For further information, please contact Steve Marsh in the Woodland Trust press office at stevemarsh@woodlandtrust.org.uk or on 07971 164 517.

The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK. It has over 500,000 supporters. It wants to see a UK rich in native woods and trees for people and wildlife.

The Trust has three key aims: 

  1. protect ancient woodland which is rare, unique and irreplaceable
  2. restoration of damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life
  3. plant native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife.

Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering over 29,000 hectares. Access to its woods is free.