The Deputy Prime Minister gave a speech recently in which he said that the contribution of the environment to the economy is varied and important. “We don’t always appreciate’ and that ‘lean times can be green times’.”
Northumberland Wildlife Trust has embraced the comments. Steve Lowe, Head of Conservation at Northumberland Wildlife Trust, said: “The Deputy Prime Minister’s speech is a welcome sign the Government is moving away from the damaging rhetoric that preceded the budget, which suggested that protecting the environment is at odds with economic growth. Protection of the natural environment is not only compatible with increasing prosperity, but the services healthy ecosystems provide are vital to underpinning a healthy economy.
“We look forward to the Deputy Prime Minister’s promised statements on Natural Capital in the coming months, and we urge the Government to put the recovery of the natural environment at the heart of its plans for economic recovery.”
Mr Clegg gave his views at the KPMG headquarters, after a Government review of the EU Habitats Regulations. The conclusion was that the regulations do not impede development. There was concern that the final National Planning Policy Framework would place the needs of development ahead of the natural environment, but in fact it revealed a more of a balance between the economy and the environment.