Environment and Climate Change

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:43 pm on 1st May 2019.

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Photo of Richard Graham Richard Graham Conservative, Gloucester 5:43 pm, 1st May 2019

Wera Hobhouse echoed many of the good things that have been said today, by people from all parts of the House, about a cause—climate change—on which we must unite. The key to this is not just calling climate change an emergency, but taking action to show that we mean it. I welcome the Secretary of State’s commitment to zero net carbon emissions by 2050 and to planting millions of trees across the country to help to protect our part of the planet. I hope, too, that the Government pull together a cross-departmental plan to deliver that nationally and help us to lead in the world by, for example, using DFID funds to continue the good work of its climate change unit to protect rainforests in Indonesia.

Locally, in Gloucestershire, achieving that means resolving the air pollution on the A38 by Llanthony and the huge A417 Air Balloon problem, as well as finishing the cycle paths on the canal and in the Golden valley from Gloucester to Cheltenham. It means doing much more about litter and Project Refill for water bottles; I hope that our schoolchildren will join me in taking those things forward. It also means closing the residual waste tip at Hempsted and replacing it with grass valleys harvesting solar power in due course. Both locally and nationally, we need to look again at what we will do about onshore wind, and above all at how to use the world’s strongest tide on the River Severn and around the Welsh coast. More generally, around our nation’s coastline, marine energy remains a largely untapped source of green energy.

I want Gloucester to be at the forefront of a green revolution. We are already home to the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, Robinswood hill, Barnwood arboretum, EDF Energy’s nuclear operational headquarters, the Kingsway green sustainability group and an MP on his cherry-and-white bike. We can make real progress on all the things I have mentioned and help to turn an emergency into an opportunity, for a better city, a greener Gloucester and a zero-carbon United Kingdom.