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Beckett Must Answer for Labour's Environmental Disaster - Baker

October 27, 2003 12:00 AM

Norman Baker MPNorman Baker MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary, has today thrown down a five-fingered environmental gauntlet to the Government, challenging Secretary of State, Margaret Beckett, to explain why Labour is failing in key environmental areas.

Ahead of Ms Beckett's speech 'Taking Action Today' to the Environment 2003 conference, hosted by the Environment Agency tomorrow (Tuesday 27th October), Norman Baker is highlighting Labour failures in transport, energy, waste, emissions, and greenbelt policies.

Since Labour came to power:

· Total municipal waste UP by 17%

· Road traffic UP nearly 8%

· Domestic energy consumption UP nearly 7%

· Carbon dioxide emissions UP by 2.1%

· Conservation sites in 'favourable' condition DOWN by 3%

Norman Baker MP said:

"Britain is being choked by traffic congestion and increased emissions, and suffocating under a mountain of waste.

"It is waste that we do not recycle, that we sweep under the carpet by burying it in huge rubbish dumps around the country. That approach is simply not sustainable.

"The environment should now be at the heart of government, not out on a limb.

"The Government needs to stop talking and start acting. Britain desperately needs better public transport, a zero waste strategy, and proper support for renewable energy sources. And that's just for starters.

"Margaret Beckett's speech 'Taking Action Today' is too little, too late. Perhaps she should rename it 'Why We Have Taken No Action in 6 Years'.