BRITAIN must use a £1.5 billion Brexit dividend on stopping global extinction a top Conservative Donor told a packed Conservative Party event.
International Rhino Foundation director and Conservative donor Peter Hall said the Brexit dividend would come from Official Development Assistance which Britain currently sends to the EU to spend on its behalf.
“The United Kingdom sends £1.5bn a year to the EU as part of its overseas development assistance. After Brexit we will get the power to decide where that money is spent,” he said. “I believe it should be spent on dealing with the environmental crisis and protecting habitats and biodiversity.”
Mr Hall was speaking alongside former International Development Secretary Justine Greening MP, Director of Conservation at WWF Mike Barrett and Senior Fauna & Flora International Conservation Director Joanna Elliott.
Ms Greening said we are facing an ‘existential challenge’ if we do not look after our planet.
She said: “You are right to be making a pitch for some of the money that might be coming back through the Brexit process. It feels like we are in a race against time. We’ve got to rebut the suggestion that economic development and looking after our environment don’t go hand in hand.”
MP Zac Goldsmith said: “We are annihilating the natural world. We are destroying the one and only planet that sustains life.”
The UK currently sends £1.5 billion to the EU as part of its annual Overseas Development Assistance commitment.
Ms Elliott said: “This is the biggest issue of our time. The risks are absolutely massive.”
Mr Barrett said: “Extinction is occurring at between 100% and 1000% of the natural background rate. We have to be joined up. We need a new global deal for nature. Putting environmental standards at the heart of trade deals will be absolutely essential.”
Average global wildlife populations declined by more than half in just 40 years from 1970 with losses projected at two thirds by the end of this decade.