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A new poll undertaken by The Wildlife Trusts reveals how badly people think all main parties are faring on tackling the nature and climate crises. It reveals that the majority of the public think the main parties are doing poorly on river pollution (78%), nature loss (71%), climate change (69%), ensuring communities can benefit from nature (65%), and supporting sustainable food production (63%). And yet the poll shows environmental issues are a key concern for voters:

79% think that nature is important for our wellbeing and economic prosperity

Most people (59%) consider environmental issues to be at least as important as other issues facing the country

39% will vote based on environ-mental policies offered by candidates

The poll was conducted by Savanta and commissioned by The Wildlife Trusts;

2,221 UK adults were interviewed between 31 May and 2 June 2024.

Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Chief Executive, Brian Bleese said,

“We are at a crossroads for wildlife and the natural environment. Nationally 1 in 6 species are at risk of extinction and in Dorset, 1 in 40 species previously recorded are no longer present. The environment must be a top priority in this election and this poll clearly shows that everyone needs to speak up for nature and find out what political parties plan to do to address the climate and ecological crises.”

The new poll also asked people to identify environmental priorities for the next government. The top five were:

1. Ensuring nature is properly protected in our seas (50%)
2. Halving pollution in rivers from sewage and farming by 2030 (45%)
3. Upgrading the energy efficiency of homes to tackle fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions (38%)
4. Helping farmers reduce emissions and adapt to climate change by embedding adaptation into farm payment schemes (37%)
5. Providing more money to support nature-friendly farming (37%)

Dorset Wildlife Trust is calling on all political parties to heed voter concern and pledge bold action on the twin emergencies of nature and climate crises by committing to the following actions to halt and reverse the loss of nature:

Tackling the climate emergency, reducing emissions while adapting to change, protecting blue carbon in our seas, and upgrading energy efficiency for homes.
Bringing back the UK’s lost wildlife: protecting and restoring 30% of land and sea by 2030, stopping damage to Marine Protected Areas, and bringing back beavers.
Ending river pollution and water scarcity: enforcing the law, halving nutrient pollution, and protecting chalk streams.
Funding wildlife-friendly farming: increasing the budget for nature-friendly farming, halving pesticide use, and supporting farmers to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change.
Enabling healthy communities: growing community-based health services, guaranteeing a right to a healthy natural environment, and supporting children to learn in and about nature.

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