Congratulations to Barry Gardiner on his new appointment as Shadow Natural Environment and Fisheries Minister.
Gardiner was previously Minister for Biodiversity in the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs in 2006 and 2007 and served as Ed Miliband's Special Envoy for Environment and Climate Change from 2011 to 2013.
He has always been an active campaigner and speaker on issues relating to the environment. Gardiner took part in an event organised by HRH The Prince of Wales discussing the development of global accounting standards for a sustainable green economy, hosted the Westminster Forum's seminar addressing the issues of food security and global farming and was heavily involved in pushing for a 2030 decarbonisation target.
Gardiner said: "In a time of economic hardship it is all the more important to understand that our national wealth is based upon our natural wealth.
"Mining and forests, fresh water and fresh air, food plants and pharmacy plants, ocean fisheries, pollinators and soil; these public goods are all part of the ecosystem services that sustain human life and human prosperity.
"Yet they are under threat. We use nature because it is valuable, but we abuse nature because it is free. The damage that people and companies do to these public goods by polluting our air, or damaging our pollinators has not been properly assessed or compensated for. It must be. The Labour Party understands this and I am thrilled to be part of our Front Bench Team shaping this agenda."
The appointment has been welcomed by Labour's Shadow Environment Secretary Mary Creagh MP, who said: "I am delighted to welcome Barry to Labour's Shadow Environment team as we prepare for the general election”