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Public opinion will affect Government's environmental decisions

The Government promised yesterday to listen to members of the public when making decisions affecting the environment.

It ratified the United Nations' Aarhus Convention, which covers access to environmental information, participation in environmental decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters.

The convention sets out international standards on how to engage the public in environmental issues and to improve the quality and effectiveness of decisions through their involvement.

A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokesman said: "Over recent years, the EU and the UK have taken steps to improve people's ability to have a say in the quality of their environment. UK ratification of the Aarhus Convention confirms our commitment to the best principles of environmental democracy, both at home and abroad."

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