Thank you writing to me about the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (the CEE Bill).
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face and I can assure you that this Government and I are fully aware of the need for urgent action. The UK was the first G7 country to legislate a goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, and with the UK hosting the essential COP 26 summit later this year, I am proud that we are taking a leading role globally both on the environment and on climate change. It is an inescapable fact that the UK itself produces a small percentage of overall global emissions, so this has to be a global effort if it is to be successful.
While I can understand that you would like the net zero target to be achieved sooner, getting to net zero by 2050 is an absolutely huge but ultimately feasible challenge and is consistent with avoiding the most damaging elements of climate change so long as the other countries of the world are also willing to take similar actions and achieve the same outcome and goal.
Achieving net zero emissions by 2030 is, I’m afraid, completely unrealistic and there would be severe implications for our businesses, economy and standard of life if we were to attempt a misguided lunge to try to achieve it. Furthermore, it would risk undermining the good deal of public consensus and support behind the current aims and plans. Climate change is an emotive issue and one where a cross-community consensus will be required to ensure the UK achieves a transition that works for all.
The Prime Minister has recently set out his £12 billion 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution. Covering clean energy, transport, nature and innovative technologies, the PM’s proposals demonstrate the UK’s significant and continuing commitment to tackling greenhouse gas emissions whilst also highlighting some of the new technologies that can, hopefully, help to drive future economic growth. Since the announcement of this plan, the Government has also announced important measures that will effectively phase out petrol and diesel cars and encourage electric cars and other greener transport.
Whilst I understand the increased awareness and debate that this headline-grabbing (but ultimately unaffordable and impractical) CEE Bill brings, I believe that the Government’s approach is the correct one and I will continue to support it. You can be sure that I will continue to scrutinise the actions being taken by this Government to ensure that the right steps are being taken.
There is a large amount of information on the UK Government website about the Government’s achievements, and the Government’s future plans and aspirations, with regard to the environment and nature, the health of our rivers, seas and oceans, and how we intend to meet (or help meet) the ecological challenges facing both our country and the rest of the world. I will be hugely supportive of the Government in all these vital endeavours.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking