Environment and Climate Change

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:37 pm on 1st May 2019.

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Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow Conservative, Taunton Deane 3:37 pm, 1st May 2019

I thank my hon. Friend for raising that point. Only yesterday, I went to a superb event on cycling here, hosted by my hon. Friend Andrew Selous, where that exact point was made. We need to take up many of that event’s recommendations. I agree that communities and local government are key, because they drive our developments and our homes. We need more eco-friendly, energy-efficient homes releasing less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, with much more energy-efficient heating systems. I had a 10-minute rule Bill not very long ago which called for better consultation in this area and to embrace technologies. We have to ask ourselves how we are going to do all this. We have the clean growth strategy. As I said earlier, science and technology will play a really important role, but we need to put more capital in and we need a plan for raising capital to invest in the future technologies that we need to introduce at pace.

On the wider environment, we have such an opportunity to change our land use: the way we use our land and the demands we make on it; the natural capital impact approach; paying for public services and goods, so we plant more trees and have better soil management that holds and captures carbon, and helps to control flooding. All of those issues are important and we have the opportunity, if we can get it right, with the 25-year plan, the Agriculture Bill and the forthcoming environment Bill. This is a very exciting opportunity, but we have to get it right.

On transport, I am the chairman of the all-party group on electric and automated vehicles. This will be a big, growing and important agenda. I think the Committee on Climate Change will set us even stricter targets on getting rid of diesel and petrol cars, so we have to get the infrastructure in place right now. We have to get the issue of storage sorted out, because it will be so important going forward. I have not mentioned carbon capture, but it could be a really big part of this agenda if we invest in it correctly.

I honestly believe that this could be the new green revolution and I am pleased to be a part of it. We should all be a part of it. I know we will and I look forward to the announcement from the Committee on Climate Change.