Mankind long believed that, whatever we did, the Earth
would remain much the same. We know now that is untrue.
Nature is under threat. One country's pollution can be every
country's problem. So we all need to work together to
safeguard our environment.
We have a moral duty to look after our planet and hand it
on in good order to future generation. That does not mean
trying to halt economic growth. We need growth to give us
the means to live better and healthier lives. We must not
sacrifice our future well-being for short-term gains, nor pile
up environmental debts which will burden our children. Where
there are real threats to our planet we have to take great care.
Prevention can often be better and cheaper than cure. But
action in Britain is not enough. The Government will play a
full part in working out international solutions through bodies
like the United Nations, the World Bank, the Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development, and the European
The British Government will aim:
to preserve and enhance Britain's natural and cultural
to encourage the more prudent and efficient use of energy
and other resources;
to make sure that Britain's air and water are clean and
safe, and that controls over wastes and pollution are maintained
and strengthened where necessary.
The world's population doubled between 1950 and 1987.
More people means more mouths to feed, and that demands
more agricultural land. That in turn can lead to deforestation
and soil erosion.
By burning forests, draining wet lands, polluting water
courses and overfishing mankind is rapidly driving many
species to extinction.
The Government is supporting international efforts for a
global agreement to protect species of plant and animal life.
The Government is also supporting projects to conserve
endangered species of wild life such as the black rhino and
the African elephants.
Britain attaches particular importance to the environmental
policy of the European Community.
Much has already been achieved: since Britain joined, the
Community has adopted some 280 environmental measures,
including far-reaching-legislation to combat acid rain, curb
pollution from cars and industry, conserve wildlife and ensure
public access to information about the environment.
1. What do we know no
2. What do we all need to do?
3. What moral duty do we have?
4. Why do we need economic growth?
5. What will the Britain's Governtment aim to do?
6. What demands more agricultural land?
7. What does Britain attach particular importance to?
8. What has already been achieved?