The ecological watchdog observes the legal threat to toxic air and water to force the government to comply with obligations

Eco-friendly watchdog observes the legal threat to toxic air and water in an attempt to force the government to meet cleaning obligations

  • The Environmental Protection Office warns it could take the government to court
  • Its first report states that overfishing and natural habitat loss need to be addressed
  • The Dame Glenys Stacey crisis should receive the same support as the net zero targets
  • It warns of “turning points” where the slow decline of nature becomes catastrophic

Britain’s environment is in a “precarious state” with toxic air pollution and sewage in rivers among the most pressing issues, according to a new official watchdog.

Overfishing and seabed damage caused by trawling, loss of natural habitats and soil degradation also need to be urgently addressed by the government, urged the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP).

In its first report, the EOP warned it could take the government to court as a last resort if it didn’t fulfill its legal obligations to clean up the environment.

Dame Glenys Stacey, President of the OEP, said England’s air, water, landscapes and seas crisis should have the same level of support and urgency among governments as climate efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to zero.

In a report he warns of “tipping points” where the slow and persistent decline of nature becomes catastrophic, such as setting fishing limits above scientific advice, which can lead to collapses of fish stocks, and continued damage to the seabed. marine ecosystem, which destroys the marine ecosystem.

Failing to prioritize these issues and address them before tipping points are reached will make reversing declines much more difficult, said Dame Glenys.

Dame Glenys Stacey, President of the Office of Environmental Protection, said England’s air, water, landscapes and seas crisis should receive the same support as the government’s net zero targets

People walking across a bridge over the River Itchen near Ovington in Hampshire amid a warning about toxic air harming health and water pollution from sewage

People walking across a bridge over the River Itchen near Ovington in Hampshire amid a warning about toxic air harming health and water pollution from sewage

He said: ‘The 25-year environmental plan has been an ambitious attempt to address the challenges the environment faces, yet we continue to see troubling and persistent trends of environmental decline.

“Our rivers are in poor condition, the number of birds and other species is seriously declining, poor air quality threatens the health of many, and our seas and bottoms are not managed sustainably.”

Reversing the situation will not be easy, he acknowledged, but he urged the government to define a clear and ambitious vision for the environment that is a priority in all departments.

“We all have an indisputable dependence on the environment and its precarious state should be a cause for concern for the entire government and a national priority,” he warned.

“There is a proliferation of goals,” he said, adding: “And often they are missed.”

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