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National Trust, Green Alliance, RSPB and others seek resource department

Leading environmental groups are calling for an Office for Resource Risk to advise government and business on resource supply and the risks to markets of climate change.

Greener Britain

The group, which includes the National Trust, Green Alliance, RSPB, Greenpeace, the Wildlife Trusts and Friends of the Earth, has published a report, Greener Britain, which wants the main political parties to pledge priorities at the next election relating to energy, communities and nature and make them central to their manifestos.

The report says a clear plan is needed, with targets, to reduce the country’s consumption of finite natural resources and increase resource efficiency: “Delivering on these targets will require significant new action”.

Examples are:

  • requiring online retailers to take back WEEE when delivering new products
  • setting up a local authority challenge fund to develop new infrastructure for recovering resources from the waste stream
  • enforcing a landfill ban for food waste, with policies to incentivise its collection and reuse as compost or fuel for AD

The group says the Government needs better data to assess and manage resource risks.

“An Office for Resource Risk should be created to provide independent assessments to government and business on how to respond to risks in specific resource markets and to outline the market risks of climate change. These assessments should be synchronised with the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change.”

Another suggestion is expansion of the Green Investment Bank.

Matthew Spencer, director of the Green Alliance, said: “The proposals in this report offer all parties constructive ways to make Britain stronger and greener in a changing world. Their manifestos need to demonstrate that they have overcome the timidity of this parliament and have found their voice on the environment.”

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