Protecting our planet

A regular subject in my inbox is what action is being taken to protect our planet on a local, national and global level.

While there is more to be done, the UK remains a leader in this area on the international stage. Britain has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by a quarter since 2010, faster than any other G20 country, and the UK was the first country in the world to commit to phase out unabated coal power by 2025.

The British Government has established the International Climate Fund to provide support to help the world’s poorest adapt to climate change and promote cleaner, greener economic growth.

The 5 pence charge on single-use plastic bags has reduced their use by 85 per cent, with each person on average now using just 25 bags a year compared to 140 before the charge came into effect.

Action to support ocean life has included the banning of plastic microbeads in personal care and cosmetic products such as face scrubs and shower gels. A single shower was sending some 100,000 microbeads down the drain and into the ocean, causing serious harm to marine life.

The Government have also sought to tackle littering by doubling the maximum fine to £150. Local authorities can also use these littering penalties against vehicle owners if it can be proved litter was thrown from their car.

It is concerning, however, that this call to action has not been reciprocated by the political leadership of Crawley Borough Council. Instead of sending out press releases they should work to ensure the cleanliness and general appearance of our town; an issue which local residents are raising with me in ever-increasing numbers.

A vote for Crawley Conservative councillors on Thursday 2nd May can change this. A new administration at the Town Hall will protect Crawley’s natural environment and wildlife, improve our rate of recycling from being the lowest in West Sussex, and ensure our street cleaning services are fully resourced.

Henry Smith MP