Sarah Newton MP today opened a crucial debate in Parliament on the Government’s ambitious net zero emissions target. The Truro and Falmouth MP called the debate in order to ask the Government to publish
a roadmap to net zero and to bring forward new policies to achieve the target.
In June this year, the UK became the first major economy to pass legislation requiring the elimination of its net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, thus ending its contribution to climate change. The UK is a world
leader on clean growth, with the fastest per-capita decarbonisation and economic growth rate in the G7. However, stronger policies are needed if the UK is to get on track to meeting its net zero target.
In the debate, Mrs Newton argued that the whole of society, including individuals, businesses, and government, has a role to play in meeting net zero. She made new proposals that would empower people
and businesses to tackle climate change:
● She called for a new Eco Tech Innovation fund. This would support tech firms to create accessible and user-friendly digital resources to give people better information about how to make greener choices.
● She also asked that Government require all goods for sale to display their carbon footprint on their labels. The requirement could cover items of food, electronic goods, and so on. It would help consumers make smarter choices when shopping and get companies measuring the carbon footprint of individual products.
During the debate, Mrs Newton said, “climate change and the decline of nature are the most serious threats we face. Unchecked, they will lead to more extreme weather events such as floods and droughts, damage
precious natural habitats, and cause sea levels to rise. The impacts could be irreversible. The response must therefore be similarly comprehensive and action must be taken across our whole economy.”
She concluded her speech by noting, “the climate change movement fails when it fails to bring people with it. As we saw in France, we have to make it clear why action to tackle climate change matters and ensure
people aren’t left behind as we transition to new cleaner industries.
“It can’t just be about distant international summits with acronyms that few people understand. When the UK hosts the international UN climate summit in Glasgow next year, it must ensure that every sector of
society, everyone is involved in the conversation. With an issue as big as climate change, we need everyone’s collective brainpower to find the right solutions and we must have everyone on board if we hope to
Speaking in the debate, the Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, the Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, said:
“"I think that what we did in amending that Act [2008 Climate Change Act] in 2019 was also significant and bold and showed leadership. As the new Minister—I have been in post for two months—I have seen a number of my counterparts across the world, and all have said that the United Kingdom is a leader in this area. That does not mean that we have solved everything. I think it is impressive that we have reduced our carbon emissions by 42% since 1990 while growing our economy by two thirds, but I fully recognise that we need to do more on energy efficiency and insulating homes, which is why we are spending a large amount of money dealing with fuel poverty."
Note to editors
1. Sarah Newton is a member of the Conservative Environment Network Parliamentary Caucus. Find out more about the Conservative Environment Network Parliamentary Caucus here:
2. Sarah Newton previously proposed a Ten Minute Rule Bill to establish a major programme to retrofit energy efficiency measures in people’s homes. The bill asked the Government to publish a
plan for meeting the domestic energy efficiency targets in the clean growth strategy, to make provision for monitoring performance against the milestones in the plan and to establish an advisory body for the implementation of the plan. She is calling on the Government to bring back the bill in the next parliamentary session. More information about the Ten Minute Rule Bill on domestic energy efficiency can be found here:
3. Sarah is available to give further comment or for broadcast or radio interviews about net zero and climate action. To arrange an interview, please contact Charles Baker in Sarah’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7219 7174.