Katie-Jo Luxton, the RSPB’s director for conservation said: “We welcome today’s announcement from Labour on ending future oil and gas exploration in the North Sea and accelerating the energy transition. Decoupling the UK energy supply from fossil fuels is the only way to secure a safe climate alongside an affordable energy system fit for the future.
“Plans to step up renewable energy development must be achieved alongside on our legally binding nature recovery targets. Healthy ecosystems are critical to addressing climate change. We strongly support the end to the onshore wind ban in England and we can maximise emissions reductions by ensuring that projects are built in the least sensitive areas for wildlife and help nature recover, alongside delivering for net zero.
“Protecting our precious natural environment is a critical function of our planning regulations. There are positive reforms that could be made to the planning system that would speed up the decision-making process for onshore renewables. It would be a major error to scapegoat planning laws and look to reduce environmental protections to address the sluggish pace of our energy transition – the root cause is a long-term failure to upgrade our aging energy grid and a lack of robust spatial planning.”