Making sure we protect our planet

This week I am writing from my Westminster office, where we have recently seen protests in support of further action to tackle climate change.

We need to do more to protect our planet, however any individuals seeking to disrupt (as opposed to peacefully protest in) major cities around the world actually offer more problems than solutions.

An inconvenient truth is that the United Kingdom remains a world leader in work to protect our environment, and the British Government’s record means that this is a position we will continue to hold in the decades ahead.

Britain has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by a quarter since 2010, faster than any other G20 country, and we have committed to phase out unabated coal power by 2025.

Earlier this year, the UK became the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050. This target date, which is feasible but ambitious, was based on advice by the independent Committee on Climate Change.

Since 1990, this country has cut emissions by 44 per cent while our economy has grown by two thirds. On a per-capita basis we have reduced emissions faster than any other G7 nation, while also growing our economy more than any member of the group. Since 2010, the UK has reduced emissions by 23 per cent.

The recent Conservative Party Conference saw ministers announce new pledges to support our environment including a £1 billion package of funding for the next generation of cutting-edge transport technologies. The large-scale production of electric vehicles will be supported through the mass production of vital technologies such as batteries, electric motors and hydrogen fuel cells.

Electric vehicle battery production is forecast to soar in the UK.

As in so many other areas, British leadership on this vital issue is important and necessary in achieving global results.

Henry Smith MP