Climate Justice — [Sir Charles Walker in the Chair.]

Part of Innovation in Hospital Design – in Westminster Hall at 2:44 pm on 4th February 2020.

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Photo of Theo Clarke Theo Clarke Conservative, Stafford 2:44 pm, 4th February 2020

I absolutely agree with the hon. Lady. I congratulate Stafford Borough Council on having been recognised as one of the leaders in our region by a Friends of the Earth survey of local authorities, showing that it has done a huge amount on this issue. I also draw attention to the city’s successful introduction of a number of initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, as well as the number of plans for the future that the council has introduced, such as installing solar panels on the roof of our civic centre and attempting to reduce energy consumption in our county council buildings.

I am pleased that last year, the UK became the first major economy to legislate for net zero by 2050. By having declared net emission goals, Britain is a front runner, along with a number of other countries including Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Costa Rica, France and New Zealand. I was also pleased that this morning, the Government announced that we will be moving away from petrol and diesel vehicles, bringing the phase-out date forward by five years—from 2040 to 2035—or earlier, if a faster transition is feasible. Of course, that must be subject to consultation. We should also consider including hybrids for the first time.

The Government should continue to work with all sectors of industry to accelerate the roll-out of zero-emission vehicles, helping to deliver green jobs in the UK, including in my constituency of Stafford.