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Theresa May’s 25 Year Environmental Plan Receives Mixed Responses – 15th January

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The government’s 25 year plan for ‘a cleaner greener Britain’ received the support of many environmental groups; whereas critics say it’s too slow and should be backed by law.

In a recent speech, Theresa May announced a series of green actions including expanding the 5p Plastic Bag Charge, and laying out plans for a plastic free shopping aisle; which comes just after the ban on micro-beads in cosmetics came into force, on 9th January.

Critics of the speech, including Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, argue that the plan takes too long and that plastic waste should be tackled before the year 2043. Greenpeace UK’s executive director, John Suaven, commented that the UK government “needs a 25-month emergency plan more than it needs a 25-year vision”.

The wider plan document outlines announced proposals for a northern forest to span 120 miles between Liverpool and Hull, as well as a new independent body to hold the government accountable for the new environmental measures; however has been criticised for being vague on how these goals will be assessed and implemented.

On the other hand, the 25 Year Green Plan has received praise and support from some environmental and industry groups. The deputy chief executive of Scottish Renewables, Jenny Hogan, said about that the plan “reaffirmed the government’s commitment to decarbonisation” and that it presented some ‘much-needed’ information on the changes ongoing in the British energy system.

Other supporters argue that the government is already making progress in improving the environment, pointing out that the UK experienced its first day without coal power in 2017, and that energy generated from renewable sources continues to grow.

The 25 year plan does suggest that the government has clean growth as a priority, and that this plan is a step in the right direction towards improving the environment of the UK. However critics say that there is room for improvement, and that the plan does not go far enough in terms of timescale and actions.

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