Updated Sep 28, 2020

PM commits to protecting 30% of UK land by 2030

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, among other world leaders, is committing to clamp down on pollution, eliminate plastic waste in the oceans and introduce sustainable economic systems to halt the destruction of nature on the planet.

At the United Nations virtual conference on 28 September 2020, the UK, alongside 64 other countries, is set to sign the Leaders Pledge for Nature, committing to put nature and biodiversity on a road to recovery by 2030. As a part of this pledge, the Prime Minister is committing to protecting 30% of the UK's land by 2030. National parks, areas of outstanding beauty and other protected areas make up 26% of land in England.

Mr Johnson promises that the Government will increase that amount to 30%, an increase of 4% which would cover over 400,000 hectares, the size of Lake District and South Downs national parks combined.

Other commitments that are expected to be made include increased efforts to reduce deforestation, improve the sustainability of fishing practices, eliminate environmentally harmful subsidies and begin the transition to sustainable food production systems and implement the circular economy in the over the next ten years.

The UK Government will work with the Devolved Administrations to agree the best approach and with landowners and civil society to explore the measures that can be put in place to increase the size and value of protected land.