Alistair Burt MP has signed a pledge to defend the UK’s countryside and wild places, and support UK action on climate change. The pledge also calls on the government to ensure strong environmental standards following the EU referendum vote. It has so far been signed by over 100 MPs from across the political spectrum. 

Alistair said:

“I signed the pledge because we must ensure that, following the referendum, we retain the environmental protections which we have established via the EU, and use new opportunities to advance that agenda where we can. It is vital for us to reassert the importance of a clean, green and healthy environment – whether that is in my constituency of North East Bedfordshire, across the UK or overseas. The UK can and should be a world leader in dealing with environmental issues.”

Ben Stafford, Head of public affairs at WWF, said:

“Following the vote to leave the EU, the UK should have the ambition to set the highest environmental standards in the world. By signing the Pledge for the Environment, Alistair Burt has shown that he understands that a healthy environment is critical to a successful future for our country.”

Dozens of our environmental rules in the UK, including those leading to healthier beaches, cleaner air, and the protection of marine environments and rare species – from bitterns to butterflies – started life as European agreements, although in many cases they were originally devised and drafted by British Ministers and officials.

The pledge was initiated by a coalition of 12 national organisations who are campaigning together to ensure that, when these rules are replaced, it is with new standards at least as strong as those set by the EU. This will ensure that the UK’s environment is healthy for all and our unique wildlife and countryside remain a national treasure. 

The full text of the pledge signed by Alistair is below:

Pledge for the Environment

I believe that following the EU referendum, the UK government, working with administrations in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh, must build a healthy and prosperous future for all.

This means a thriving natural world on land and at sea, clean air and water, communities connected to nature, and a sustainable economy.

For the wellbeing of my constituents, for people at home and abroad, and for future generations who will depend on a flourishing and secure planet, I will do everything in my power to:

  • Establish the UK as a world leader on the environment by committing to match or exceed current environmental, wildlife and habitat protections
  • Ensure the UK leads on climate change by publishing robust low carbon investment plans and ratifying the Paris Agreement this year
  • Create a countryside richer in nature by supporting farmers and landowners to deliver environmental benefits alongside a thriving farming sector.

The organisations whose supporters are asking MPs to sign the pledge are: Campaign for Better Transport, ClientEarth, CPRE, E3G, Friends of the Earth, Green Alliance, Greenpeace, New Economics Foundation, RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts, WWF, The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, The Woodland Trust.