Thank you for contacting me about the environment.
I share your desire to protect wildlife and am pleased that the Government is committed to being the UK’s greenest ever. As the authors of the ‘Manifesto for Wildlife’ concede that their document is a provisional first draft, let me outline some of the actions the Government is taking to safeguard our environment.
Since 2010 greenhouse gas emissions have reduced whilst the economy has grown, air quality has improved and land management schemes established to promote conservation. Over 11 million trees have been planted and 50 Marine Conservation Zones created to help protect our rich marine life, with a further 11 million trees on their way and 41 new Marine Conservation Zones proposed. Internationally, Ministers are calling for a third of the world's oceans to be protected by 2030, trebling the current global target. The 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment will build on these developments.
Outside the EU we can develop global gold standard environmental policies, taking more targeted approaches. Having left the Common Agricultural Policy we can use public money for public goods, rewarding environmentally responsible land use. Unless the scientific evidence changes the UK will also continue to restrict the use of neonicotinoid pesticides after Brexit.
Meanwhile, by leaving the Common Fisheries Policy and regaining control of our waters, we will be able to grant access and allocate quotas based on sustainability, allowing us to pursue the highest standards in marine conservation.
For your information, I did support the amendment to the EU Withdrawal Act 2018, which puts a legal obligation on the Government to publish an Environmental Principles Bill containing nine environmental principles within 6 months of the EU (Withdrawal) Act becoming law.
I was one of the original MPs calling for an independent watchdog and as a member of the Conservative Environment Network this is a high priority for me locally.
Ministers will introduce the first Environment Bill in over 20 years, establishing a world-leading body to hold government to account. We can, and I believe we will, be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it.
Please note, that in future, replies to campaign generated letters and correspondence of wider public interest will be found on my website:
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.