Page last updated at 03:47 GMT, Friday, 18 September 2009 04:47 UK

Green groups urging joint action

Chimneys billowing smoke
The groups want more action to tackle pollution and climate change

Eight of the UK's leading environmental groups have joined forces to urge political parties to adopt a joint approach on green issues.

They have produced a 10-point checklist of policies which they say are essential if the UK is to help protect the local and global environment.

The list includes a large investment in energy production and green transport.

It also calls for an end to airport expansion and a nationwide housing re-fit to boost energy efficiency.

The groups making the call ahead of the forthcoming political party conferences are Green Alliance, Friends of the Earth, the Woodland Trust, WWF, the Wildlife Trusts, the RSPB, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and Greenpeace.

Their list also calls for a big increase in the amount of woodland in the UK and the provision of green space within walking distance of every home.

'Decisive action'

Also on the list is a 40% cut in greenhouse gases by 2020, which environmentalists say scientists argue is needed.

However, that figure is ahead of Labour's planned 32% cut.

Speaking on behalf of all the groups, Stephen Hale, director of Green Alliance, said: "Action in the next parliament is critical if we are to simultaneously reduce our CO2 emissions whilst improving the resilience of our natural environment to avoid the looming crises of food, energy and water shortages by 2030.

"It's now or never. Support for the common cause declaration will be the threshold for credibility at the next election on environmental issues.

"The commitment to decisive action must be endorsed by all parties.

"The real contest will be over specific policies, so we urge them to include our 10 manifesto asks for 2010 in their forthcoming manifestos."

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