Westminster letter

A GREEN RECOVERY

During July, the Prime Minister announced £350 million of funding to encourage a ‘green recovery’.

There’ll be investment to cut carbon emissions, across heavy industry, construction, space and transport. It’s an ambitious programme with the target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.  One of the introductions is a Jet Zero Council, with the long-term aim of creating the first ever zero emission long haul passenger plane. Government departments are working with the environmental sector, the aviation and aerospace industries on this. Given the effect the coronavirus pandemic has had upon aviation, we need a sustainable recovery through such measures.

A new Green Homes grant is being launched, to help people upgrade the energy performance of their homes. For low-income families, this could provide as much as £10,000 in funding.

In July, the UK’s water supplies came under the scrutiny of the Public Accounts Committee, of which I’m a member. Sustainability and resilience of supply are essential, as people in the Chilterns will well know.  Without action now, there’s a serious risk that some parts of the country could run out of water within 20 years. The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated how much we depend on fresh, clean water for basic hygiene. As well as tackling leaks – we lose 20% of our water supply every day through leakage – we should think seriously about water usage and abstraction, which threatens rivers like the Chess.

We’ve been promised significant works in a two-year project to protect the Chess from another threat, that of sewage overflows and infiltration of groundwater into the system, by relining sewers.

There is also one way we can all help our environment, in a practical way, by disposing of our litter at home! This will reduce the burden on our councils and clean up our roadsides in particular.