Climate change is one of the most important challenges facing the country, and it is up to this generation to take decisive action.
During the election we committed to deliver the most ambitious environmental programme of any country on earth. The Environment Bill, introduced to Parliament in January, is central to this and will support recent legislation to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 by minimising our waste, cleaning our air and water, and restoring habitats to allow plants and wildlife to thrive.
The Bill will also introduce a new system of environmental governance, establishing an environmental watchdog in the Office for Environmental Protection; and will implement a new statutory cycle of target setting, monitoring, planning, and reporting to help deliver significant, long-term environmental improvement.
The legislation will also introduce measures based on the ‘polluter pays’ principle, create a simplified approach to recycling, and tackle waste crime and promote a shift towards reusable items. And it will enable greater local action on air pollution, ensuring responsibility is shared across local government structures and public bodies; and set legally binding targets on the pollutant with the most significant impact on human health, fine particulate matter.
In addition to the Environment Bill, the Prime Minister also announced at the launch of the UN Climate Summit to be hosted in Glasgow in November, that a ban on selling new petrol, diesel or hybrid cars in the UK will be brought forward from 2040 to 2035 at the latest, in order to meet our commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The Government are committed to Britain leading the way in addressing climate issues, and I fully support the measures being taken to tackle climate change and protect our natural environment. I will support these measures in Parliament and will also work to ensure environmental matters remain at the heart of policy making.