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Environment Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:45 pm on 28th October 2019.

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Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 9:45 pm, 28th October 2019

It is not over-egging the pudding to say that I am genuinely honoured to be closing this debate on what I consider to be a landmark Bill that will transform our approach to protecting and enhancing our precious environment. Importantly, and as the Secretary of State clearly outlined at the start, the measures in the Bill will not just maintain what is in place but enhance it. They will truly enable us to leave our environment in a better place than we found it.

It was tremendously heartening to hear such support for the Bill tonight. I have been an ardent environmental campaigner pretty much all my life, growing up on a farm, studying the environment at university and working as a journalist and broadcaster in this field. However, as a journalist, I began to realise that while one can highlight the problems, the only way to get the paradigm shift that we need on the environmental agenda is to influence policy.

That is where this Bill comes in, and that is why I and everyone working on it believe that it will be so significant. With the shocking decline in nature, which is so starkly obvious, coupled with the impacts of climate change, this Bill is now urgently needed, as Members have said. Leaving the EU gives us the opportunity to grasp the environmental agenda with both hands and develop a tailor-made framework that will make this world better for us all.