Thank you for writing to me about climate change. I have read your email carefully and noted the key points that you raise.
I appreciate your strength of feeling on this matter, and share your desire to protect and preserve the beautiful Surrey countryside. I would like to assure you that I recognise the importance and urgency of public debate on the issue of climate change.
The Budget reinforced the UK’s strong track record in this area, with announcements including £640m for tree planting and peatland restoration, over £1bn to support the transition to electric vehicles, at least doubling funding for energy innovation, and tax measures to reduce plastic waste, among other measures.
The UK is a world-leader in tackling climate change and transitioning to Clean Growth, being the first country to legislate to eliminate our contribution to climate change by 2050, and the fastest in the G20 to cut emissions. Since 1990, the UK has cut emissions by more than 40 per cent while growing the economy by more than two thirds, and we are a world-leader in offshore wind.
The Government has announced around £2 billion for new policies since setting the Net Zero targets and the Cabinet Committee on Climate Change continues to ensure all arms of Government are focussed on tackling this challenge. The UK will also continue to use its position as a global leader at the postponed UN Climate Change Summit, and will ask international partners to match the UK’s ambition.
At the same time, our ambitious Environment Bill is being introduced to protect and improve the environment for future generations, enshrining in law environmental principles and legally-binding targets.
For more information please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/environment-bill-2020/30-january-2020-environment-bill-2020-policy-statement
So this Government and Parliament is keen and able to take positive action for our environment and has firm plans to do so. I am not convinced by the idea of a citizens’ assembly or multiple citizens’ assemblies. Our U.K. Parliament is the ultimate and properly elected and constituted assembly of our nation, and our devolved assemblies and all our local councils provide proper democratic representation and decision making at a more local level.
Getting to net zero by 2050 is tough and may also prove expensive, but it is feasible and consistent with avoiding most damaging climate change, so long as it is also emulated by other countries. Aiming for zero emissions by 2025 is almost certainly impossible, hugely disruptive and risks undermining consensus. It would also be massively disruptive and expensive to our economy, and this at a time when we desperately need to try to recover from the damage done by coronavirus crisis. All our public services ultimately rely on a sound economy and the tax revenues that it generates.
But please be assured of my strong commitment to a green and healthy environment and I believe that this commitment is broadly shared by the current Government and Parliament.
Thank you again for writing to me about these important matters.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking