I have been contacted by constituents regarding the Climate Emergency Bill.
As the Member of Parliament for Milton Keynes South, I have included below my response:
I want to be clear; tackling climate change is a priority for me and my Ministerial colleagues. I am proud that the UK was the first G7 country to legislate to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
The Queen's Speech reaffirmed the Government's commitment to tackling climate change by investing in new green industries to create jobs, while protecting the environment. The Environment Bill which failed to complete its passage will carry-over into this new session. The Bill ensures that the Government will take strong action to deliver the most ambitious environmental programme of any country on earth and leave the environment in a better state than we found it.
I note that the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill seeks to examine the UK’s global carbon footprint, such as indirect UK emissions in our supply chain which may affect developing countries. I am encouraged that the UK remains committed to environmentally sustainable development as set out in the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals. In January 2021, the Prime Minister announced that the UK will spend at least £3 billion of international climate finance on nature and biodiversity over five years. The funding will deliver transformational change in protecting biodiversity-rich land and ocean, shifting to sustainable food production and supply, and supporting the livelihoods of the world’s poorest.
I do not believe citizens' assemblies have advantages over conventional policy making in this context. Previous experiences in Canada, for instance, included citizens in the decision-making process but they failed to produce impactful or long-lasting results. I know that a Climate Assembly UK was formed as a result of work conducted by Parliamentary Select Committees. Ministers have assured me the Government will be looking closely at the findings. However, I am reassured that many of their recommendations, published in their report, are already in place or in progress as a result of the Government’s net zero strategy. Achieving net zero will benefit everyone and it is important that we work together to achieve it.
While I welcome the increased awareness and debate that this Bill brings, I do not believe that it is required as work is already underway. Should you have any specific concerns that I can raise on your behalf, with the relevant Minister, please do get in touch.