Thank you for contacting me about climate change.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face, and I can assure you that I recognise the importance and urgency of action on this issue. While we need continued public debate on this issue, I can assure you that significant action is being taken.
I am proud of the UK’s world-leading role in tackling climate change and the transition to Clean Growth, with the UK being the first country to legislate to eliminate our contribution to climate change by 2050, and the fastest in the G20 to cut emissions. When we achieve net zero, the UK will have eliminated its contribution to climate change, which as of December 2019 accounted for 1.2 per cent of global emissions. Many other countries will hopefully follow our ambition, particularly those with a larger share of global emissions, such as China which accounted for 30 per cent. Since 1990 the UK economy has grown by 75 per cent while cutting emissions by 43 per cent.
To continue this momentum, the Government has announced around £2 billion for new policies since setting the Net Zero targets and the Prime Minister-chaired Cabinet Committee on Climate Change continues to ensure all arms of Government are focused on tackling this challenge. The UK will also continue to use its position as a global leader at the postponed UN Climate Change Summit, and will ask international partners to match the UK’s ambition.
The Budget also reinforced the UK’s strong track record in this area, with announcements including £640m for tree planting and peatland restoration, over £1bn to support the transition to electric vehicles, at least doubling funding for energy innovation, and tax measures to reduce plastic waste, among other measures.
At the same time, the Environment Bill is being introduced to protect and improve the environment for future generations, enshrining in law environmental principles and legally-binding targets.
Getting to net zero by 2050 is tough and expensive, but feasible and consistent with avoiding most damaging climate change. Aiming for zero emissions by 2030 is almost certainly impossible, hugely disruptive and risks undermining consensus. Climate change is an emotive issue, but a cross-community consensus will be required to ensure the UK achieves a transition that works for all.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP