Monday, 21 July 2014

How the coalition is stopping the reintroduction of wildlife to the UK

The infrastructure bill seeks to reclassify extinct species as non-native, and prevent them from returning

Can any more destructive and regressive measures be crammed into one piece of legislation? Already, the infrastructure bill, which, as time goes by, has ever less to do with infrastructure, looks like one of those US monstrosities into which a random collection of demands by corporate lobbyists are shoved, in the hope that no one notices.

So far it contains (or is due to contain) the following assaults on civilisation and the natural world:

• It exempts fracking companies from the trespass laws.

• It brings in a legal requirement for the government to maximise the economic recovery of petroleum from the UK's continental shelf. This is directly at odds with another legal requirement – to minimise the UK's greenhouse gas emissions.

It abandons the government's commitment to make all new homes zero-carbon by 2016.

• It introduces the possibility (through clauses 21 and 22) of a backdoor route to selling off the public forest estate. When this was attempted before, it was thwarted by massive public protest.

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