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The Climate Emergency

Part of Debate on the Address – in the House of Commons at 2:08 pm on 17th October 2019.

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Photo of Sue Hayman Sue Hayman Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 2:08 pm, 17th October 2019

I agree with my hon. Friend. The matter was mentioned during Labour’s party conference this year, because we are taking this very seriously.

My concern is that the Conservative Government have a track record of missing environmental targets on air quality, major pollution incidents and biodiversity, and last year a leaked document showed that the Government had abandoned altogether an agreed target to restore 50% of England’s sites of special scientific interest to a favourable condition by 2020. It is therefore disappointing, but unsurprising, that the legally binding targets will not apply for nearly two decades.

Once the Government’s record on climate change and the environment is examined more closely, we find practices and policies that completely undermine and work against efforts to tackle the climate and ecological emergency. The Government continue to use UK export finance to support fossil fuels, but it is totally hypocritical for the UK to limit extraction at home while promoting extraction abroad. The Natural Capital Committee recently concluded that only half of our habitats currently meet minimum quality targets, with bees, butterflies, birds and many plants species continuing to decline.