The campaign for the Westminster General Election is now well and truly in full swing!

This time it feels different, and not just because of the intense debates around Brexit. After years of trying to secure political attention, the environment has finally burst through onto the political stage. Political parties are now desperate to set out green policies, promises and initiatives to ensure they remain relevant to these concerns. Not only will their policies make a real difference to butterflies and moths, but they will also make a significant difference to their electoral prospects, particularly given the concern for the environment expressed by young people.

We are now asking Butterfly Conservation members and supporters to capitalise on this environmental momentum. We hope you will challenge the candidates from all parties in your constituency to commit to the leadership and action that is needed if we are to leave a world where climate change has been controlled and wildlife is flourishing. This is the world our children surely deserve to inherit.

Butterfly Conservation is supporting the ‘Wildlife and Countryside Link 2019 General Election Manifesto’. This has a comprehensive list of 22 policy “asks” that have the potential to transform the future for nature in the UK.

The full Manifesto can be read here.

We are focusing on three issues to highlight on the doorstep or in correspondence with prospective candidates. These are the areas where everyone can help reinforce the messages and need for political action:

1. Action to tackle the Climate Emergency
Words are no longer enough. We need a commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2045 backed up by a fully funded and scientifically credible action plan.

2. Halt the relentless loss of wildlife by committing to reversing species decline by 2030

This commitment will need to be underpinned by strong and legally-binding targets. We know from the recent State of Nature report that butterflies and moths are on the front-line of biodiversity decline and only strong political will, decisive leadership and credible action will be enough to turn these trends around.

3. Support for wildlife-friendly farming

Ensure that payments to land managers and farmers adopt the principle of ‘public payments for public goods’. This will benefit wildlife, address climate change and provide wider environmental improvements. £3billion is currently spent on agricultural support but only a tiny proportion is currently being used to benefit butterflies, moths and other wildlife. If we can redirect this huge sum of money, we could see a transformative change in the outlook for nature.

We are a community of 120,000 engaged members and supporters with a common love of butterflies and moths. Together we have the power to make our concerns and policy asks a part of thousands of doorstep conversations and correspondence. This will ensure that every single prospective Westminster candidate in the land hears our message.

Thank you for your support!

Chris Corrigan
Policy Co-ordinator

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisCorrigan3