Gove Warns That Time is Running Out in Landmark Speech on the Environment

In a speech delivered earlier this week at Kew Gardens, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Gove, has warned that “time is running out to make the difference we need… to repair the damage we as a species have done to the planet that we have plundered.

In the speech, Mr Gove highlighted the drastic changes the world is seeing including declines in biodiversity, scarcity of drinking water, sea level rise and habitat loss.

The Environment Secretary called for strong action to combat these issues, such as the need to agree international targets for nature conservation at the 2020 UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Beijing.

Mr Gove also noted that the new Prime Minister will have the ultimate decision on the content of the Environment Bill and called for the Bill to “create a robust, legally sound, framework for a comprehensive and integrated set of environmental targets which taken together can ‘bend the curve’ on environmental decline.” He also recognised the need for a new Office for Environmental Protection that has the power to take the Government and public bodies to court and who’s remit covers climate change.

A number of other environmental topics were covered in the speech, including air, waste, water and planning.