UK set to miss a host of environmental goals, research shows
The UK is set to miss a huge range of crucial environmental and climate targets in the early 2020s, despite repeated government assertions it would “leave the environment in a better state than we found it”.
That is the broad conclusion of new research today, which assesses the UK is currently heading far off the mark on a whole raft of targets covering air pollution, water quality, recycling, tree planting, renewable energy, biodiversity, and fishing. Many of the targets that the UK is set to fall short on are legally-binding and derive from EU standards that the government has repeatedly insisted it will not seek to water down post-Brexit.
Carried out by Unearthed – the investigative arm of Greenpeace – and The Financial Times, the assessment shows that whoever leads the next government after the upcoming General Election will face an uphill struggle to keep on track with green targets, many of which have to be met as soon as next year.
For example, the UK has long been in breach of EU air pollution targets for nitrogen dioxide, with the government facing fierce criticism and court action in recent years. But today’s research emphasises the country is additionally unlikely to meet 2020 targets for pollutants such as ammonia and fine particles (PM2.5).
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