A coalition of 15 leading environmental groups has written to the Government urging it not to delay or cut back on environmental spend at PR24 to improve water quality.

The organisations include the Wildlife Trusts, Rivers Trust, Surfers against Sewage, RSPB England, Friends of the Earth and Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust. They were responding to two separate letters recently sent to water companies from Environment Minister Therese Coffey MP and from the Environment Agency (see previous article).

In the open letter to Thérèse Coffey yesterday, the environment groups warn:

“Defra’s recent requirements of water companies to explore the deferral of many environmental projects under the Water Industry National Environment Programme and Water Resources Management Plans until after 2029 would delay essential environmental action and, ultimately, increase costs to consumers.”

“This requirement on companies is out of step with the Government’s commitment to halt the decline of nature by 2030 and reverse it by 2042. It also contradicts Defra’s latest Strategic Policy Statement to Ofwat, which named ‘protect and enhance the environment’ as the top strategic priority for the water industry.”

The letter concludes:

“Cutting back on essential environmental improvements now is a complete false economy.

“Instead, Government must direct Ofwat and the water industry to deliver a transformational price review in 2024, with a step-change in environmental ambition.

“We have reached a critical point where the cost of delay far exceeds that of a targeted and efficient course of action. We urge you to reconsider.”

Read the full letter here.

No Comment

Comments are closed.