A constant subject of concern in my MP’s postbag is Climate Change. People are becoming more and more aware of the environment, its fragility and our need to preserve it - and whilst we have made great strides, there is still far more we can do.
The Government’s 25-Year Environment Plan sets out a framework to ensure that we hand the next generation a cleaner, more sustainable country than the one that we inherited. It includes tackling the scourge of plastic, delivering cleaner air and water and, crucially, using the opportunity Brexit provides to develop our own bespoke agricultural and fisheries policies with a more sustainable focus.
It is clear that tackling Climate Change is at the forefront of people’s minds and we should be proud of our achievements thus far as the UK has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 25% since 2010 - faster than any other G20 country. We were the first country in the world to commit to phase out unabated coal power by 2025 and have invested £52 billion in renewable energy since 2010 with 400,000 people now working in low-Carbon businesses.
We are also tackling poor air quality through the Clean Air Strategy, banning petrol and diesel cars by 2040, investing millions in greener public transport, electric and hydrogen vehicles. The 5p charge on single-use plastic bags has reduced their use by 85% with each person on average now using 25 bags a year compared to 140 before the charge came into effect.
I know that the urgency of cleaning up our country and our planet is felt by many individuals and groups locally. Rest assured, I understand the need for us to act.