Labour have today lauched their ‘Manifesto for Nature’ . You can download a copy here;
Labour leader to set out party’s ‘Plan for Nature’
Ten new national parks will be created in areas such as the Malvern Hills, Lincolnshire Wolds and North Pennines in the first five years of a Labour government, Jeremy Corbyn will announce on Thursday.
The party has also committed to planting 2bn trees by 2040 in a bid to tackle the “climate and environment emergency”.
Later today the Labour leader will unveil his party’s “Plan for Nature”, which includes £3.7bn-worth of capital investment, such as £1.2bn to restore natural habitats, such as woodland, grasslands, meadows, peatbogs and saltmarshes in England.
The measures will also include proposals to create 10 new national parks across the country, with the aim of ensuring that three-quarters of the English population will live within half an hour of a national park or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty by 2030.
Labour has said it will make £2.5bn available for planting trees in national parks, as well as urban parks, farmland, community woodlands, schools and publicly-owned land.
Speaking at a rally in Southampton, Mr Corbyn will say: “We’ll expand and restore our habitats and plant trees so that we can create natural solutions to bring down emissions and allow our wildlife to flourish.
“Labour created the first national parks, and we’ll create ten more, giving people the access to the green spaces so vital for our collective wellbeing and mental health.”
The announcement comes ahead of the first election TV debate to be held purely on the issue of climate change, which is being aired by Channel 4 this evening.
Mr Corbyn, along with the leaders of the Liberal Democrats, SNP and Green Party, have agreed to take part in the debate, but both Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage refused.
The Liberal Democrats have pledged to plant 60 million trees a year, equating to up to 1.2 billion by 2040, while the Tories have pledged half that.
Commenting on Labour’s announcement, Friends of the Earth tree campaigner Guy Shrubsole said: “This is by far the most ambitious tree-planting pledge we’ve seen from a political party.
“Tree cover in the UK needs to double as part of the fight against climate breakdown and this means adding three billion new trees, and fast.
“If sustained, Labour’s promised tree-planting rates would achieve this by 2050. While parties have been racing to make bigger trees pledges, it’s crucial to remember that trees will only help fix the climate crisis if emissions cuts happen at the same time.”