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Over 350 environmental groups march through London to demand next government take action on climate and nature

TENS of thousands of activists marched through London on Saturday to call on the next government to take robust action on nature conservation and make climate a priority. 

Protesters from over 350 environmental groups united for a march from Park Lane to Parliament.

They included charities such as the National Trust and WWF as well as direct-action groups such as Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion.

Before speaking at the rally, naturalist Chris Packham said: “We’ve heard enough warm words and seen too broken political promises while our beautiful natural world has continued to be destroyed.

“It's now time for the next government to take green action and not leave nature in the red.”

Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace have evaluated the main political parties’ green plans against 40 of the campaigners’ own policy recommendations. Green Party and Liberal Democrats topped the rankings, scoring 39 and 32; Labour had come in with just 21 and Conservatives last with a mere five points out of 40. 

In 2022, the Conservative government signed a legally binding target to halt nature loss by 2030. But the government’s own watchdog found that it failed to be on track on all 23 of its targets with wildlife continuing to decline.

Charlie Gardner, a conservation scientist and XR activist, said: “This government hasn’t just been inactive on the nature crisis: it has been actively weakening the few protections nature does have. 

“It has been a relentless attack on the natural world. But now people from across the country are coming together to say: enough is enough, this has to stop.”

According to government statistics, species in Britain have declined on average by 19 per cent since 1970, and one in six species is at risk of extinction.

RSPB chief executive Beccy Speight said: “There is definite hope that we can turn things around: while we know the threats, we also know so many of the solutions. But we simply aren’t acting fast enough or at a big enough scale to tackle the nature and climate crisis. 

“We need to see urgent action and a much stronger commitment to restore nature at scale from politicians of all parties because no species, including us, can afford to wait any longer.”

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