I believe passionately in protecting our natural environment. As a parent, I want to do all that I can to ensure we leave the environment in a better condition than we found it. I know the Government also shares this ambition.
To mark the Queens Jubilee last year I attended a Tree Planting Ceremony at Stanborough Primary School, which highlighted how we all have to do our part to protect the environment.
My 'Green Team' initiative works to engage younger constituents who have some fantastic ideas in this area.
The UK will continue to pursue a leading role in tackling climate change. The UK was the first major economy to pass laws to achieve net zero of all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and we are focused on putting clean growth at the centre of our modern Industrial Strategy.
I am proud that the UK is pioneering the way for other countries to also commit to net zero, and following COP26, which the UK hosted in Glasgow, 90% of the world’s economy is now following our lead.
So far, we have already driven down emissions by more than 45%, the fastest reduction of any G7 country, and are well on our way to fulfilling the pledge of carbon reduction by 68 per cent by 2030, before reaching net zero by 2050. There are already 400,000 jobs in low carbon businesses, with the Net Zero Strategy aiming to support an additional 480,00 British jobs by 2030, and nearly a third of the UK’s largest businesses have also pledged to eliminate their contribution to carbon emissions by 2050.
We must continue the transition to a green and sustainable future by protecting out nature and wildlife. New targets set out in the Environment Act include increasing tree and woodland cover by 16.5% in England by 2050 in order to boost nature recovery. So far, the UK has created plant and wildlife habitats the size of Dorset and continue to expand areas of natural habitats by investing £750 million through our Nature for Climate Fund. The Fund will also help us in meeting our commitments to restore 280,000 hectares of peat in England by 2050.
The UK continues to lead internationally on the preservation of our environment and natural habitats, with 145 countries representing over 90% of the world’s forests pledging to halt deforestation by 2030 under our Climate COP Presidency.
We all know how devastating the impact of plastic is on the environment and wildlife and that is why the government has announced its plan to ban a range of single-use plastics from October 2023. Not only does plastic pollution take centuries to break down, causing serious damage to our rivers, oceans and land, but the production and disposal of single-use plastics is also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, and the ban is a giant leap forward in the UKs commitment to net zero.