16th June 2021

What's in a word? - Help bats with the power of one word

We are calling on our supporters to join us and raise their voices after the Government published a weakly worded amendment to the Environment Bill that no longer sets a target to halt nature’s decline.

The Bat Conservation Trust is joining over 60 wildlife charities and environmental organisations in highlighting concern at this u-turn and reinforcing our calls for stronger action by the Government, to halt the declines in wildlife and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030.

The species abundance target amendment to the Environment Bill was published last week. Instead of requiring the Government to set a fixed goal to halt the decline of species by 2030, it now only requires a contribution to ‘further’ the objective of halting species decline, rather than committing to delivering it. This falls far short of a world-leading law and the “Net Zero for nature” that was promised and weakens the UK’s response to the biodiversity crisis we are facing.

One word change: replacing the word “further” with the word “meet” would make a world of difference.

We have joined with other Wildlife and Countryside Link members to send a joint letter to the Prime Minster on the need to address the weak wording in the amendment if we are to meet our intentions to be a world leader for wildlife. You can download the letter HERE

We have also flagged concerns that an amendment on the Habitat Regulations (published 26 May) alongside this weakly worded amendment could see us take a step backwards on environmental protection rather than the historic “huge step forward” that was promised.

Kit Stoner, CEO of the Bat Conservation Trust, said the change in wording could make a world of difference: “Whilst 11 of Britain’s 18 resident bat species are now stable or recovering, these trends reflect relatively recent changes in bat populations and follow decades of historical declines. The recent turnaround demonstrates that conservation action and legislation are proving successful, and so it is vital that such steps are made stronger not weaker. The Government must keep its promise and put a clear target to halt the decline of wildlife by 2030 into law.

The recent amendment does not meet the global ambition laid out in the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature at the G7 nor the leadership needed to secure a strong deal in the Convention on Biological Diversity later this year.

This is a huge missed opportunity to restore all the incredible native wildlife that we're losing at an alarming rate.

Nature is in freefall, and the UK is no exception. Despite Government ambitions to be global leader, we're one of the most nature depleted countries in the world and our laws don't go far enough to address this

PLEASE HELP US AMPLIFY CALLS TO GOVERNMENT TO SET A TRUE TARGET - Please sign and share our petition, to put an effective deadline for nature’s decline in law. We are nearing 200,000 names: