Speaking at Sustainability Live this week in Birmingham, Juniper, the president of the Society for the Environment, said the environment has become “polarized” and is a political “badge of honour” for some politicians to be against green measures.

Juniper told edie: “We need to get back to a situation that was there in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.

“There was a very different kind of political debate going on then between the parties where they all wanted to show leadership and be above the others in their green ambition.

“We’ve got the opposite today where there is an ambition to get to the bottom rather than the top,” added Juniper.

Though Juniper said that it was possible to “de-politise” the green agenda by taking it out of party politics, he did say environmental issues would need to remain political.

“The environment has to be inside politics because there are big choices involved that are at the heart of how we run our country.

“In terms of the rules that govern personal freedoms, how business is governed and the way in which we measure the performance of the economy.

“All of those things are inevitably political,” he added.

edie interview with Tony Juniper at Sustainability Live 1 April

Leigh Stringer

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