Humanist Climate Action (HCA) has called on the UK Government to rethink its approach to environmental policy in response to a consultation by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
DEFRA plans to put five environmental principles into law. But, HCA believes these principles are too limited. They would not be legally binding. They would not apply to important policy areas including the armed forces, taxation, and resource allocation. They would apply only to government policy-makers and not to other public bodies. They would not apply to specific regulatory or planning decisions but only to general policies. In practice, they limit the Government’s focus to preventing environmental harm. Instead, they should also focus on positive action to enhance and protect the natural environment.
Launched last month, HCA is a volunteer-led network of Humanists UK members and supporters committed to redefining lifestyles and campaigning for policies that promote low-carbon, ethical, and sustainable living in the light of the degeneration of the Earth’s climate and biodiversity. It brings humanists together to facilitate individual and collective action on these issues.
Humanist Climate Action Secretary Richard Norman commented, ‘We are in a time of climate emergency. As such, it is vital that the UK Government embeds strong environmental principles across all areas of its work and at all levels of government. We need these principles to be robust, ambitious, and legally binding. Otherwise they will not be an effective tool to combat climate change and improve our natural world.’
For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 7324 3072 or 07534 248 596.
Read HCA’s response to this consultation.
Read DEFRA’s consultation.
Find out more about Humanist Climate Action.
Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by 100,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.
In 2021, Humanists UK is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a renewed focus on its history. The new website Humanist Heritage is a rich new web resource that uncovers the untold story of humanism in the UK – a story of people, groups, objects, places, movements, publications, and ideas.