MPs give Government a red card on green issues

New Commons report shows poor progress has been made

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David Cameron has been given a “red card” by MPs for failing to keep his promise to run “the greenest Government ever”.

A study by the Commons Environment Audit Committee found that in three areas – air pollution, biodiversity and flooding – problems had got worse since 2010 or would not be tackled sufficiently by 2020. In a report published today, the cross-party group of MPs awarded the Coalition a “red card” on these issues.

It got an “amber card” for unsatisfactory progress in seven areas: climate change, forests, soils, waste, freshwater environment, water availability, and marine environment. It received no “green cards” for satisfactory progress in any field.

Joan Walley, the committee’s Labour chairman, said: “Our inquiry provides a wide ranging examination of the state of the environment and shows that further and continued effort is required to protect it properly. A dedicated, wide-ranging environmental strategy is needed, overseen by a new Office for Environmental Responsibility to ensure the Government meets the requirements to protect human health and the natural world.”

She said the political parties should regard the report as a “wake-up call” and ensure environmental protection measures were included in their manifestos for next year’s general election.