Chancellor Philip Hammond is to use his spring statement this week to set out new steps to promote biodiversity and protect the environment.
Hammond to Unveil Steps to Protect Biodiversity after Pupils' Strike over Climate Change

Mr. Hammond is expected to say he has “heard calls from young people” about the degradation of the planet, when he delivers his statement on Wednesday.

The measures will include a global review of the economic benefits of biodiversity to identify measures that can both enhance ecosystems and promote prosperity.

It comes less than a month after thousands of school and university students walked out of lessons to call for action on climate change and the ecological crisis.

And three weeks ago, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation warned that the world’s food supplies were increasingly under threat from destruction of the planet’s biodiversity.

The chancellor will also launch a consultation on how to conserve natural environments in the UK’s overseas territories, from the ice fields of the British Antarctic to the islands of the Caribbean.

Officials said the announcements followed recent figures that underlined the importance of biodiversity to the economy.

The value of the UK’s 1,500 species of crop pollinators, such as bees, is estimated to be at least £680m a year.

According to estimates, ecosystems and biodiversity are worth up to 100 times more than the cost of conservation measures.

Experts say human interference with wildlife and the climate is such that species are disappearing at 1,000 times their natural speed.

They also say the overseas territories are home to 90 per cent of the biodiversity in the UK and the territories combined. The Falkland Islands, for example, are home to up to 70 per cent of the world’s black-browed albatrosses.

Mr Hammond will also announce a review looking at expanding carbon offsets to passenger carriers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Ministers are also considering “future-proofing” all new-build homes to ensure they have low carbon heating and high energy efficiency standards.

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