UK can be proud of green record - Deputy PM
LONDON - British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott on Wednesday defended the government\'s environmental policy record and said it could be proud of its achievements.
In an article for the Guardian newspaper, Prescott said the ruling Labour Party had been at the forefront of promoting environmental issues around the world and had shrugged off its \"dirty man of Europe\" image.
His comments came after a furore sparked by Environment Minister Michael Meacher\'s suggestion last weekend that the government was avoiding difficult decisions on green issues.
\"Our domestic record is something to be proud of...After years of British resistance, it was this government that agreed to stop the dumping of oil rigs at sea and take action on radioactive discharges,\" Prescott wrote.
\"The air, rivers, beaches and drinking water are now cleaner.\"
Prescott said both he and Meacher were proud of the government\'s record.
\"We agree that there is a lot done, but a lot more still to do,\" he said.
Prescott said he and Meacher would use the Earth Summit in Johannesburg later this month to encourage other countries to do more for the environment.
\"We want the world leaders assembled there to commit themselves to take action in a way which integrates environmental, social and development needs.\"
Meacher last week won back his place on the government delegation for the summit after reports he had been dropped sparked protests from environmental groups.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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