Watering Down Climate Change Commitments

Thank you for contacting me about nature and the climate crisis. This topic is very important to me and I am an actively involved in holding the Government to account through being a member of the Conservative Environment Network. 

I would like to assure you that the Government is fully committed to reaching net zero by 2050. Ministers are taking a pragmatic, proportionate, and realistic approach to meeting net zero. The UK is committed to meeting our obligations under the agreements made in Paris and Glasgow to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. The UK is going far beyond other countries in terms of our 2030 decarbonisation target and the transition to clean energy, delivering tangible progress while bringing down energy bills.

Further, I know that the Government is going further for both households and investors by embracing new green industries. This includes bringing forward new reforms to energy infrastructure which will give the industry certainty, speed up planning for the most nationally significant projects to ensure that strategically important projects, or those ready first, will connect first. Ministers have also committed to a target to deliver up to 50GW of offshore wind by 2030, ensuring that the industry has confidence that the UK remains the best place to invest in offshore wind. In addition, the Government has announced new Future Fellowships, which will support our leading scientists and engineers to develop real and practical green technologies and is supported by up to £150 million of new funding.

Regarding nature, the Government has legally-binding targets to halt nature’s decline, clean up our air and rivers and support a circular economy. The UK played an instrumental role in a new global agreement for nature at the UN nature summit COP15 in December 2022. The Environmental Improvement Plan sets out how the Government will achieve its ambitious environmental targets and also includes a new commitment that everyone should be able to access green space or water within a 15-minute walk from their home, such as woodlands, wetlands, parks, and rivers.

My ministerial colleagues and I recognise that we cannot tackle climate change without protecting nature. I understand that the Prime Minister will set out the next stage in our ambitious environmental agenda ahead of COP28. I look forward to hearing more about this in due course.