The Joint Links group is protesting the EU’s ‘fitness check’ of its Birds and Habitats Directives, which could diminish natural capital protections.

The group claims the Directives could be weakened by those who “mistakenly regard them as a block on business and economic growth”.

A statement from Joint Links said: “In the current political context any revision of the Directives would expose them to prolonged uncertainty and leave the long-term future of Europe’s biodiversity vulnerable to short-term political priorities”.

Joint Links spokesperson Kate Jennings added: “The strength of support from 100 voluntary organisations across the UK shows how significant the Directives are in safeguarding Europe’s biodiversity. Uncertainty over the future of the Directives resulting from the ‘Fitness Check’ review could be bad for nature, bad for people and bad for business.”

EU approach

The European Commission said the ‘fitness check’ will provide an evidence-based analysis of whether EU actions are delivering as expected.

In February, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Commission joined forces to launch two financial initiatives with a €715m investment to encourage private sector involvement in schemes that reduce energy use and conserve natural capital.

Natural capital commitments

On a domestic basis, the UK government could be set to strengthen environmental protections, after the Conservative Party pledged in its manifesto to work with the Natural Capital Committee (NCC) to develop a 25-year plan to restore the UK’s biodiversity.

“We welcome in particular the Conservative Party’s commitments in its manifesto to improve the state of the UK’s natural environment,” said Aldersgate group director Nick Molho.

More information about the Joint Links campaign can be found here.

Brad Allen

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