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(From pdf file of the Coalition Agreement(pdf) published May 20th 2010)
11. ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRSThe Government believes that we need to protect the environment for future generations, make our economy more environmentally sustainable, and improve our quality of life and well-being. We also believe that much more needs to be done to support the farming industry, protect biodiversity and encourage sustainable food production.
We will introduce measures to make the import or possession of illegal timber a criminal offence.
We will introduce measures to protect wildlife and promote green spaces and wildlife corridors in order to halt the loss of habitats and restore biodiversity.
We will launch a national tree planting campaign.
We will review the governance arrangements of National Parks in order to increase local accountability.
We will work towards full compliance with European Air Quality standards.
We will take forward the findings of the Pitt Review to improve our flood defences, and prevent unnecessary building in areas of high flood risk.
We will examine the conclusions of the Cave and Walker Reviews, and reform the water industry to ensure more efficient use of water and the protection of poorer households.
We will work towards a zero waste economy, encourage councils to pay people to recycle, and work to reduce littering.
We will reduce the regulatory burden on farmers by moving to a risk-based system of regulation, and will develop a system of extra support for hill farmers.
We will encourage community-owned renewable energy schemes where local people benefit from the power produced. We will also allow communities that host renewable energy projects to keep the additional business rates they generate.
As part of the creation of a green investment bank, we will create green financial products to provide individuals with opportunities to invest in the infrastructure needed to support the new green economy.
We will work towards an ambitious global climate deal that will limit emissions and explore the creation of new international sources of funding for the purpose of climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Liberal Democrats have long opposed any new nuclear construction. Conservatives, by contrast, are committed to allowing the replacement of existing nuclear power stations provided that they are subject to the normal planning process for major projects (under a new National Planning Statement), and also provided that they receive no public subsidy.
We will implement a process allowing the Liberal Democrats to maintain their opposition to nuclear power while permitting the Government to bring forward the National Planning Statement for ratification by Parliament so that new nuclear construction becomes possible. This process will involve:
the Government completing the drafting of a national planning statement and putting it before Parliament;
specific agreement that a Liberal Democrat spokesperson will speak against the Planning Statement, but that Liberal Democrat MPs will abstain; and
clarity that this will not be regarded as an issue of confidence.
We will investigate ways to share with livestock keepers the responsibility for preparing for and dealing with outbreaks of disease.
We will take forward the Marine and Coastal Access Act and ensure that its conservation measures are implemented effectively.
As part of a package of measures, we will introduce a carefully managed and science-led policy of badger control in areas with high and persistent levels of bovine tuberculosis.
We will promote high standards of farm animal welfare. We will end the testing of household products on animals and work to reduce the use of animals in scientific research. We will promote responsible pet ownership by introducing effective codes of practice under the Animal Welfare Act, and will ensure that enforcement agencies target irresponsible owners of dangerous dogs.
We will ensure that food procured by government departments, and eventually the whole public sector, meets British standards of production wherever this can be achieved without increasing overall cost.
We will investigate measures to help with fuel costs in remote rural areas, starting with pilot schemes.
We will create a presumption in favour of sustainable development in the planning system.
We oppose the resumption of commercial whaling, will press for a ban on ivory sales, and will tackle the smuggling and illegal trade on wildlife through our new Border Police Force.
We will bring forward a motion on a free vote enabling the House of Commons to express its view on the repeal of the Hunting Act.