This request for help just in from the BCT:
21st January 2021
Dear Somerset Bat Group members,
Thank you to everyone who was able to contact their MP over the last 12 months about the Environment Bill. We have now come to critical point when the bill will be debated for the third time following the Report Stage which is why we are reaching out to you again. Every email sent alerts our politicians that their constituents care about bats, other wildlife and the natural environment. The Environment Bill is an opportunity to make sure that the UK is able to address the biodiversity crisis and climate emergency in law but the Bill needs to be fit for purpose to achieve this.
Bat Conservation Trust, along with other organisations, are calling for clear, timely and legally binding targets in the Bill. We can lead the world by setting ambitious targets that will help the recovery of bats, other wildlife and, ultimately, people.
The Bill is due to be read in Parliament starting on 26 January so please contact your MP TODAY and urge them to attend the next stage of the Bill’s process and to make sure this Bill does everything it can to reverse nature’s serious decline.
You can find details for your MP here: https://members.parliament.uk/members/Commons .
We have drafted an email template that you can download HERE and copied below. Feel free to adapt and please either copy us in or let us know if you have contacted your MP by using the following email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear (ADD YOUR MP’s NAME HERE) MP
I am one of your constituents and I am passionate about wildlife with a particular interest in bats, and a member of the Somerset Bat Group.
I am writing to ask you to attend the Report Stage debate of the Environment Bill and speak in support of key amendments. These have been tabled by MPs with the aim to ensure the Bill does everything it can to help protect nature and wildlife. A strong Environment Bill will benefit species such as bats as well as protecting nature for people. Our natural resources are the greatest legacy we will leave the next generation and without strong legislation the decline in nature will continue. There is a lot at stake including the reputation of the United Kingdom as we run up to the forthcoming Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD COP15).
There are five key amendments that I trust you will support.
- New Clause 1 and amendment 1 – environmental principles
- Amendment 5 – binding interim targets
- New Clause 5 – state of nature
- Amendment 23 – independence of the Office for Environmental Protection
- Amendment 29 – Local Nature Recovery Strategies
We need a legally-binding ‘State of Nature’ target for the Environment Bill so that efforts to restore nature by 2030 are taken seriously. Amendments NC5 and 29 would set a target to reverse nature’s decline within a decade and would be a world first – sending a powerful message ahead of next year’s UN climate and nature talks.
Without legally binding targets it will be much harder for us to reach the ambitious government goal of seeing 30% of our land in recovery for nature by 2030. Strengthening Local Nature Recovery Strategies in the Bill through Amendments NC5 and 29 will help to focus decision making that affects nature and ensure that the new Office for Environmental Protection is truly independent.
The Environment Bill is a vital piece of legislation that can help to protect our natural heritage and in so doing tackle the alarming loss of wildlife and address the climate crisis. However, as we are one of the most nature depleted countries in the world, I think the Bill can do more to help nature’s recovery but it is essential that these are enshrined in law.
As my elected representative, I urge you to support these amendments, and speak up for these changes to the Bill when it is debated in Parliament next week.
If we are to reverse nature’s decline, we need MPs like you to speak up. Please attend the report stage debate on behalf of constituents like me. Thank you for speaking up for nature.
PLEASE ADD YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS HERE BEFORE YOU SEND IT