Westminster letter

THE YEAR OF GREEN ACTION AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Firstly can I thank those constituents who have so kindly sent me condolences on the death of my husband. This has been a truly difficult time for me but I continue to work – as I did throughout his illness – and attend parliament so that I can fulfil my duty at this crucial time for our country.

Naturally I have been thinking especially about the great -grandchildren and the world in which they will live.

Many constituents share these concerns and BBOWT, the wildlife trust organisation which covers Buckinghamshire, got in touch recently with a plea that our environment should not be forgotten amid all the necessary concentration on Brexit.  BBOWT expressed worries about the Oxford to Cambridge Growth Arc, which will require 1 million homes to be built. This will be a ‘double whammy’ in Buckinghamshire, coupled with the environmental impact of constructing HS2. It is ironic that extra planning safeguards to preserve ancient woodland have come along after HS2 was approved.

This is the Year of Green Action and legislation is planned, with an Environment Bill to come. Its aims are to tackle air quality, waste and water resource management, and restore nature. There has already been progress: over the past 12 months, for instance, the UK has introduced one of the toughest microbead plastic bans aimed to reduce plastic waste, particularly affecting the marine environment, with further bans set to come into force.

The UK has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent since 2010, faster than any other G20 economic group country, and invested £52 billion in renewable energy over the same period. 41 new Marine Conservation Areas have been put into place around the UK, becoming the “blue belt”.

Leaving our environment in a better situation than the one in which we found it is essential.

[This article first appeared in the Bucks Free Press]