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Failures to address environmental improvement!

December 1, 2021 5:36 PM

72zq (Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash)Two unrelated stories today show that we are continuing to damage our environment with real consequences. Despite all the green statements and targets issued by the government the reality on delivery continues to disappoint. As we have said many times before you should judge the Conservative party on what it achieves not the promises it makes.

The most recent Birds of Conservation Concern list produced by the UK's leading conservation organisations, including the RSPB, the National Trust and BirdLife International shows some 70 of the UK's 245 assessed birds are "red-listed" - meaning they are of highest conservation concern because of severe declines, numbers well below historical levels or the risk of global extinction. A combination of climate change and failure to improve our local habitats are to blame, the latter despite previous promises to address the issues

In the past 6 years the red list has grown by three species , the amber list has grown by seven species while the green list - of those birds least under threat - has shrunk by nine species.

Greenfinches, swifts, house martins and Berwick's swans are among those that have been added to the red list. We grew up with greenfinches visiting our bird table. It never occured to us as kids that one day in our life time they would be at risk of disappearing

Meanwhile the Public Accounts Committee has just reported on the governments much hyped Green Homes grant scheme concluding it "underperformed badly", upgrading only about 47,500 homes out of the 600,000 originally envisaged and delivering a small fraction of the expected jobs. The project accounted for just £314 million of its original £1.5 billion budget, and £50 million of that was administration costs - more than £1,000 per home upgraded. The result was "a scheme with poor design and troubled implementation". By August 2021, 52% of homeowners' voucher applications were rejected or withdrawn, and 46% of installer applications failed. The Scheme's primary aim was to support jobs but its design and duration limited its impact on employment, and its abrupt closure may have in fact led to redundancies.

You can read Read the full report (HTML) here

Dame Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee said:

"It cost the taxpayer £50 million just to administer the pointlessly rushed through Green Homes Grant scheme, which delivered a small fraction of its objectives, either in environmental benefits or the promised new jobs.

We will need this massive, step change in the way our homes and public buildings are heated, but the way this was devised and run was just a terrible waste of money and opportunity at a time when we can least afford it."

The incompetence of the government could not be clearer!