Coalition drops further green pledges on timber and renewables

Government has reneged on pre-election promises to tackle illegally logged timber imports and reward green energy ‘pioneers’

 Illegally logged timber in northern Brazil

 Illegally logged timber in north-eastern Brazil. The coalition has dropped a pledge to introduce measures to make the import or possession of illegal timber a criminal offence in the UK. Photograph: Paulo Santos/Reuters

The coalition is being accused of reneging on two of its key environment pledges in a further blow to the credibility of David Cameron’s promise to lead the “greenest government ever”.

In correspondence from a government minister to the Green MP Caroline Lucas, the government makes clear it will not honour a pledge to make it a criminal offence to posess, or bring into the country, illegal timber. Campaigners say such legal measures are necessary to help curb the 350m-650m square metres of forest that is illegally logged every year – possibly as much as 40% of the total market.

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