Environment and Climate Change

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:22 pm on 1st May 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Sarah Newton Sarah Newton Conservative, Truro and Falmouth 3:22 pm, 1st May 2019

This debate really matters. It matters to the hundreds of thousands of people across our great nation and the world. This is the mother of all Parliaments. This is the country that had the first industrial revolution. It is our moral responsibility to come together as a Parliament and show the leadership that people across the world rightly expect of us. We today should be building on the radical political consensus that was achieved back in 2008, which brought all parties in the House together and gave any Minister standing at the Dispatch Box legally binding targets on reducing emissions.

I am confident, given the actions taken, that this Secretary of State and this Government will respond positively, enthusiastically and responsibly to the guidance they will receive tomorrow, which will set out why we need to move to net zero carbon by 2050 or sooner. We need today to put petty political point scoring to one side, recognise what this country has achieved and share that ambition to do more and faster.

Like every other Member, I know from going around my constituency that all parts of society we represent—whether schoolchildren, members of the women’s institute or the business community—are asking us to do more. They are also asking us what more they can do. This is about what not only we in this place do, but what our whole country will do—what businesses, public services and people will do. I know that people want to do the right thing, but sometimes they do not know what to do.

I want to make one simple point today, by sharing the great work of Luci Isaacson and Climate Vision in my constituency. Back in 2009, she set up a simple 10-pledge challenge. She got 10 local ambassadors in Truro to recruit a whole team of us to make simple changes in our lives over four months, and between us, we saved more than 3,000 tonnes of CO2. It was not virtue signalling or running out and buying the most expensive new electric vehicle. It was simple things that we can all do, like switching energy provider, which saves money as well as CO2, or eating local, in-season produce and walking more often—all sorts of practical things that save us money, make us feel better and contribute to our local economy.

I set a challenge to every Member of the House today. I know they care very much about this issue and that many of them are riding bicycles and taking all sorts of action in their communities. I ask them to go to my website, look up the work of Climate Vision and make one of those pledges or all 10 of them, so that today we can all commit to reducing our own emissions. We are all leaders in our communities, and we can support and encourage everyone who wants to play their part and make a difference. They can use #10PledgeChallenge, so that together we can send out a strong message that as individual leaders, policy makers and Members of this mother of all Parliaments, we get it, and we are stepping up to the greatest challenge that we will face in our lifetimes.