Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Campaign reply - “Will you ensure the Budget delivers on PM’s climate and energy promises?”

Several constituents have sent me a copy of a campaign email entitled, “Will you ensure the Budget delivers on PM’s climate and energy promises?”

Protecting our environment is a matter of huge importance to me and I was delighted to see the clear commitments made in the recent Conservative Party manifesto to see us reach a net zero carbon economy by 2050. We are the first major world economy to announce this bold plan.  Plans are well laid and there are a range of actions already in process. For instance, we were one of the first countries in the world to ban the sale of conventionally fuelled cars by 2040 – something likely to be achieved well ahead as the market and manufacturers have already reacted with the sale of electric cars up and the introduction of a record 19 new electric cars into the UK market this year. Transport makes up around a third of all pollution, so this is a vital step forward.

The way we tackle climate change and protect our environment will be many fold and whilst the emphasis in this campaign is on onshore wind farms it is just one way we will win the climate change battle. Another highly significant development, with less visual and noise impact than onshore wind farms,  is the huge technological strides being made in offshore wind farms. I have recently met with industry specialists on this and believe there to be huge potential in developing this industry not only to generate clean energy but also see hundreds of new, well paid jobs come to Cornwall as we see potential development in the seas that surround us.

The Conservative party manifesto references the environment 22 times. The government has and is taking this as a priority. I copy a section below:

Fight climate change and protect the environment Conservation is, and always has been, at the heart of Conservatism. Our Government’s stewardship of the natural environment, its focus
on protecting the countryside and reducing plastic waste, is a source of immense pride.
But today, the climate emergency means that the challenges we face stretch far beyond our borders. Thanks to the efforts of successive Governments, the UK has cut carbon emissions by more than any similar developed country. We are now the world’s leader in offshore wind – a fantastic success story of Government and the private sector working hand in hand to cut costs and deliver ever more electricity at plummeting costs.

Unlike Jeremy Corbyn, we believe that free markets, innovation and prosperity can protect the planet. Yet we recognise that there is far more that needs to be done.

We will lead the global fight against
climate change by delivering on our
world-leading target of Net Zero
greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,
as advised by the independent
Committee on Climate Change.
We have doubled International
Climate Finance. And we will use
our position hosting the UN Climate
Change Summit in Glasgow in 2020
to ask our global partners to match
our ambition.
We will set up new international
partnerships to tackle deforestation
and protect vital landscapes and
wildlife corridors. We will establish a
new £500 million Blue Planet Fund to
help protect our oceans from plastic
pollution, warming sea temperatures
and overfishing, and extend the
Blue Belt programme to preserve
the maritime environment. We will
continue to lead diplomatic efforts
to protect 30 per cent of the world’s
oceans by 2030.
Our first Budget will prioritise the
environment: investing in R&D;
decarbonisation schemes; new flood
defences, which will receive £4 billion
in new funding over the coming
years; electric vehicle infrastructure
including a national plug-in network
and gigafactory; and clean energy.
In the next decade, we will work with
the market to deliver two million new
high quality jobs in clean growth. We
have ambitious targets:
Our world-leading offshore wind
industry will reach 40GW by 2030,
and we will enable new floating wind
We will invest £800 million to build the
first fully deployed carbon capture
storage cluster by the mid-2020s.
We will invest £500 million to help
energy-intensive industries move to
low-carbon techniques.
We will support gas for hydrogen
production and nuclear energy,
including fusion, as important parts of
the energy system, alongside increasing
our commitment to renewables.
We placed a moratorium on fracking
in England with immediate effect.
Having listened to local communities, we
have ruled out changes to the planning
system. We will not support fracking
unless the science shows categorically
that it can be done safely.
We will help lower energy bills by
investing £9.2 billion in the energy
efficiency of homes, schools and
We will support clean transport to
ensure clean air, as well as setting strict
new laws on air quality. We will consult
on the earliest date by which we can
phase out the sale of new conventional
petrol and diesel cars.

Since publication there is now further consideration being given to bringing forward the ban on sale of conventionally fuelled cars to 2035.