Thank you for contacting me about nature investment as part of a green recovery from Covid-19.
As we recover from Covid-19, we must deliver a UK economy which is stronger, cleaner, more sustainable and more resilient.
Last year, the UK was the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050 and tackling climate change should be at the heart of our economic recovery. The UK now has over 460,000 jobs in low carbon businesses and their supply chains, and many of the actions we need to take to reach our net zero target will support the future growth of our economy. A Green Recovery working group has been created bringing together businesses, business representative groups and leading academics to unleash Britain’s growth potential and help the economy recover from the pandemic.
In addition to this, Ministers are phasing out polluting vehicles and fuels, have published a landmark Clean Air Strategy and 25 Year Environment Plan, and will deliver on environmental priorities with the Environment Bill using post Brexit freedoms to cement the UK’s status as a world leader on the environment. Furthermore, I am pleased that the Prime Minister has committed to protecting 30 per cent of the UK’s land by 2030. This means an additional 400,000 hectares, the size of the Lake District and South Downs national parks combined, will be protected to support the recovery of nature.
The Government is also bringing forward £40 million funding to help charities and environmental organisations start work on conservation projects across England. This will help conservation organisations and their suppliers create up to 3,000 jobs and safeguard up to 2,000 others. This will help protect the UK’s natural carbon stores and wildlife habitats – our meadows, rivers, and local green spaces – which are central to capturing and removing CO2 from the atmosphere, protecting precious biodiversity, and connecting people with nature.
Furthermore, I am pleased that the Government continues to be committed to creating a new patchwork of woodlands by planting more trees. Ministers have also consulted on a new English Tree Strategy to expand tree cover, support woodland management and increase public engagement with trees and woodlands. This consultation closed at the beginning of September and I look forward to reading the Government's response to it soon. I am an advocate of nature based solutions to climate change and have lobbied the Government on these.
Ultimately, as we come through the coronavirus pandemic, we must continue to shape an economy and society that is cleaner, greener and more resilient. I know that Ministers welcome the range of proposals, such as that of a National Nature Service, that have been shared by groups to deliver a green recovery and these are being reviewed based upon the best use of public funds.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP