The British Ports Association has welcomed the UK Prime Minister’s newly published 25-year plan for the environment, which confirms that the country's government will make greater use of “natural capital” in its approach to environmental policy.
Government officials define natural capital as “elements of nature that directly or indirectly produce value to people, including ecosystems, species, freshwater, land, minerals, the air and oceans, as well as natural processes and functions”.
The Prime Minister also announced that the UK government will be consulting on a new independent environmental regulator, launching their air quality strategy this year, finalising the final tranche of Marine Conservation Zones, and taking the opportunity afforded by Brexit to “take back control” of UK waters and put in place a more sustainable fisheries policy.
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Mark Simmonds, BPA Policy Manager, said: “We welcome the Prime Minister’s rejection of the false choice between enhancing our environment and promoting economic growth.
“The Government must now redouble efforts to ensure that unreasonable costs are not added to plans for sustainable development.
“This means ensuring that Government and its agencies have the capacity to process license applications in a timely manner and that marine environmental designations are properly resourced and backed up by robust evidence.
“The Prime Minister said today that industry must play its part, and we will.
“But Government must be prepared to work with ports and other industries to understand concerns when they arise so that solutions on important matters such as air quality and marine plastics are viable and achieve a clear goal.
“We also very much welcome the Government’s commitment to “take back control” of UK waters and fisheries and urge Ministers not to dilute or waiver on that commitment as Brexit negotiations progress.”