Thank you for contacting me about climate change and nature.
The Government recognises the importance of climate action and I welcome that the UK was the first G7 country to legislate to achieve net zero by 2050 and is decarbonising faster than any G20 country.
Ministers are bolstering domestic renewable energy production through the Energy Security Strategy. This sets out plans to accelerate the deployment of wind, new nuclear, solar and hydrogen, while supporting the production of domestic oil and gas in the nearer term – which could see 95 per cent of electricity being low carbon by 2030. New ambitions include producing up to 50GW of offshore wind by 2030 – more than enough to power every home in the UK.
The Government remains firmly committed to its net zero target. However, oil and gas will be required in the transition to net zero, and simply turning off the taps would mean we would have to import oil and gas, leaving us susceptible to global circumstances. The Government is therefore boosting our energy security by committing to hundreds of new oil and gas field licences in the North Sea, making sure we are not reliant on expensive, foreign imports.
I would like to assure you that I fully recognise the valuable work of our farmers across the country. The Government has committed to maintaining the £2.4 billion annual farming budget in England over this parliament. The Sustainable Farming Incentive pays farmers for actions that support food production and can help improve farm productivity and resilience, while protecting and improving the environment. The 23 actions on offer cover areas including soil health and moorland, as well as new actions on hedgerows, integrated pest management, nutrient management, farmland wildlife, buffer strips, and low input grassland.
Finally, regarding forests, the Government introduced world-leading legislation through the Environment Act to tackle illegal deforestation in UK supply chains. The Act’s provisions will make it illegal for larger businesses operating in the UK to use key forest risk commodities produced on land illegally occupied or used. Businesses in scope will also be required to undertake a due diligence exercise on their supply chains, to assess and mitigate the risk of regulated commodities having been produced on land illegally owned and used, and to report on this exercise annually. I understand that Ministers are committed to implementing due diligence provisions at the earliest opportunity through secondary legislation.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP.