Environment and Climate Change

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:24 pm on 1st May 2019.

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Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 2:24 pm, 1st May 2019


I am more than happy to acknowledge that there are individual Labour councils that do well and from which we can learn.

I said that we need to do more as a nation, which is why I am looking forward to the publication tomorrow of the report by the Committee on Climate Change, which was originally established by Edward Miliband. The programme of carbon budgets that the committee has set has enabled us to make significant progress so far in the meeting of our obligations to the earth, but we all know that we need to do more.

Last October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change made it clear that the Paris target of a 2°C temperature rise was, as the science showed, not ambitious enough and that we need to ensure that we slow the rate of greenhouse gas emissions and hopefully achieve net zero in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. After that IPCC report, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Business, immediately commissioned the Climate Change Committee to tell us what we as a Government and as a society should do to meet that target. That level of ambition was endorsed by a range of different organisations, from the NFU, which says that we should try to have net zero in agriculture by 2040, to companies such as Tesco, our biggest single retailer, which have also committed to the net zero target. That is why I am delighted that, today, the Leader of the Opposition has also joined this Government, the NFU and Tesco in committing to net zero by 2050. As they say, every little helps.