I believe we all have a responsibility to play our part in tackling this global challenge for our children’s generation, and the generations who come after them. I'm using my role as an MP and Minister to work with colleagues to look at how we can further push our green agenda and set ambitious targets, including our goal to reach net zero by 2050.
The Government is currently working tirelessly to combat climate change and safeguard our environment, whether that’s at a local level in constituencies like ours, or on the international stage.
Our landmark Environment Act will ensure the UK can deliver the most ambitious environmental programme of any country.
- This legislation wil transform how we protect our natural environment, make better use of our resources and clean up our air and water
- We want to deliver the most ambitious environmental programme of any country on earth and leave our environment in a better state than we found it
- The Act will allow ministers to introduce charges on all single-use items, not just plastics – helping to cut waste and put an end to throwaway culture
- It will also help landowners to secure long-term environmental benefits through conservation covenants, as well as better protect ancient woodland in England
- It includes a new, historic, legally binding target on species abundance for 2030 to halt the decline of nature, and to address the unacceptable amount of sewage discharged by water companies into our rivers
Tackling climate change is the UK's top foreign policy priority.
- We’ve committed to doubling our International Climate Finance (ICF) to £11.6 billion between April 2021 and March 2026
- The ICF supports developing countries to reduce poverty and respond to the challenges caused by climate change and environmental degradation
- This helps developing countries to adapt and build resilience to the current and future effects of climate change; pursue low-carbon development; support sustainable management of natural resources; increase access to clean energy; and reduce deforestation
- At COP26 in Glasgow, more public and private finance was mobilised to support climate action in developing countries than ever before, and the global financial system is aligning behind the ideal of a net zero world
- New pledges made at COP26 bring developed countries closer to meeting the $100 billion annual climate finance target in 2022 and ensure it is exceeded after that, as well as mobilising billions in private finance and green investment
We are also committed to eliminating avoidable waste by 2050; achieving a 65 per cent recycling rate for municipal (household-like) waste by 2035; working towards all plastic packaging placed on the market being recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025; and eliminating avoidable plastic waste by 2042.
- New plans have also been announced to tackle fly tipping and illegal waste exports, setting out proposals in two new consultations which will clamp down on waste crime and support people and businesses to manage waste correctly
- We’re also planning to introduce mandatory digital waste tracking, to better detect illegal activity and tackle waste crime
As an animal lover myself, I am delighted to see this Government take promoting animal welfare very seriously. We have some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and it is right for us to cement our status as a global leader by continuing to raise the bar.
- The new Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act is now in force, enabling tougher prison sentences for the most serious perpetrators of animal cruelty, from the previous maximum of six months to up to five years, one of the toughest punishments in Europe
- We have also set out a wide-ranging plan for driving forward reforms in the first-of-its-kind Action Plan for Animal Welfare. Building on this Plan, the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill will bring in some of the world’s highest and strongest protections for pets, livestock and kept wild animals
I hope this has given you all a bit more insight and detail into the wide-ranging work we are doing in Westminster to tackle environmental issues through our world-leading green-agenda in the crucial years ahead.