THE recently launched 25-year plan for the environment reveals a government of half measures and double standards.

Central to this plan is tackling plastic waste. Essential as this is, it provides a useful diversion from the many government policies that are trashing our environment.

The plan promises to make the most of emerging technologies; building a cleaner, greener country while reaping the economic rewards of clean growth.

Yet in the last budget the chancellor said there would be no new subsidies for new windfarms, solar plants or tidal lagoons until at least 2025. Instead tax relief was offered to North Sea oil and the government remains hell-bent on kickstarting a whole new fossil industry with fracking.

The government trumpet the success of offshore wind but continue to use the planning system to block onshore wind. Not only is this the cheapest renewable energy available, it has huge potential for community ownership, allowing people themselves to take back control of their energy.

Without clear or ambitious targets and an absence of legislation to back up the environment plan it amounts to little more than a long wish-list.

Above all, what is desperately missing is a vision for how we can shift the focus away from endless growth and pointless consumption towards ensuring everybody has a decent, happy and meaningful life. This is why we need greater Green representation. And to achieve that we need a fair electoral system. That way we might genuinely become the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it.

Molly Scott Cato

MEP, Green