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Faced with the effects of climate change which can no longer be ignored and changed economic conditions, the UK Government has decided to increase its activity in regard to environmental and social issues. TheTopSoil.org.uk keeps track of the Government's action on the mentioned challenges with an emphasis on concrete measures the Government is taking to reduce the UK's carbon footprint, protect the trees, forests and woodland, protect biodiversity, and waste management and reduction. But we are also closely monitoring its action on social reform which is expected to go through further changes over the following years not only due to changed economic conditions but due to ageing population as well.

Government's Action on Reducing the UK's Carbon Footprint

The UK Government has an ambitious plan to reduce the nation's greenhouse gas emissions. With the Climate Change Act 2008, the Government has obliged itself to reduce emissions by at least 80 percent over the following decades. To achieve the set goal, the Government is compelling both businesses and households to use resources and energy more responsibly but it is also funding research and innovation as well as financially helping households and businesses in investment in low-carbon technology.

What the UK Government is Doing to Protect the Trees, Forests and Woodland

Trees, forests and woodland play an important role in climate, absorbing air pollutants and releasing oxygen by which they help reduce the greenhouse effect. But they are also of vital importance for biodiversity by providing food and habitat to wildlife. Lastly, forests provide us with wood, timber and other forest products. The UK Government is aware of the importance forests and woodlands, and is taking a series of measures to improve their management and expand woodland areas because forests cover only 12 percent of the UK. For a comparison, other EU countries have about one third of their land area covered by forests and woodland.

UK Biodiversity Protection Policy

The UK Government is helping protect dangerously declining variety of life both in Britain and abroad through a series of laws that protect endangered species and particular habitats. But it is also financially supporting biodiversity protection programmes both nationally and internationally (such as the Darwin Initiative for instance), and is actively working on development and enforcement of laws against wildlife crime.

UK Government Action on Waste Management and Reduction

In addition to encouraging recycling, the UK Government is also promoting waste reduction initiatives by raising public awareness about the benefits of waste minimisation and reuse of items that are no longer wanted. However, since it is impossible to produce zero waste, the UK Government is also supporting the use of waste for energy production such as biogas for example.

Social Policy and Reform in the UK

Economic uncertainty combined with ageing population and public spending deficit forced the UK Government to reconsider it social policy. Cuts in public spending of course also affected social transfers but the Government continues to provide support to those who need it the most, especially troubled families, children from difficult backgrounds and disadvantaged adults.

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