Mankind for a long time believed that, whatever we did, the Earth would remain much the same. Now we know that it is untrue. Nature is under threat. One country’s pollution is every country’s problem. So we all need to work together to safeguard our environment. . We have a moral duty to look after our planet and pass it to the future generations in good order. That does not mean trying to halt economic growth. We need progress to give us the means to live better and healthier lives. We must not sacrifice our future well-being for short-term gains, nor pile up environmental debts which will burden our children. There are real threats to our planet we have to take great care of. Prevention can often be a better and cheaper means than cure. The Government is doing its best to work out international solutions through such organisations like the United Nations, the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the European Community.
The British Government aims:
- to preserve and enhance Britain’s natural and cultural inheritance; to encourage the more prudent and efficient use of energy and other resources; to make sure that Britain’s air and water are clean and safe, and that controls over wastes and pollution are maintained and strengthened where necessary.
The world’s population doubled between 1950 and 1987. That means more mouths to feed, and that demands more agricultural land. That in turn can lead to deforestation and soil erosion. By burning forests, draining wet lands, polluting water courses and overfishing mankind is rapidly driving many species to extinction. The Government is supporting international efforts for a global agreement to protect species of plant and animal life. The Government is also supporting projects to conserve endangered species of wild life such as the black rhino and the African elephants.
Britain attaches particular importance to the environmental policy of the European Community. Much has already been achieved: since Britain joined, the Community has adopted some 280 environmental measures, including far-reaching legislation to combat acid rain, to reduce pollution from cars and industry, to conserve wildlife and to ensure public access to information about the environment.