Contributions in Parliament:
30th November - Agricultural Transition Plan
George Eustice (Secretary of State for Envronment, Food and Rural Affairs) "The Agriculture Act 2020 sets out powers to reward farmers and land managers who protect our environment, improve animal welfare and produce high-quality food in a more sustainable way. The central plank of our future policy will be made up of the three components of environmental land management. The sustainable farming incentive will pay farmers for actions that they take to manage their land in an environmentally sustainable way. This could include schemes encouraging catchment-sensitive farming, integrated pest management and sensitive hedgerow management. Local nature recovery will pay farmers for actions that support local nature recovery, creating space for nature and habitats on farm and encouraging co-operation between farmers. Finally, the landscape recovery component will support the delivery of landscape-scale projects to deliver ecosystem recovery through longer-term land use change. This will help us meet our targets to plant 30,000 hectares of woodland a year by 2025, create and restore peatland, protect 30% of UK land by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050."
This debate received contributions from 18 Conservative Members
1st December - Hydrogen Technology: Fiscal Support
Michael Fabricant "What fiscal steps he is taking to support investment in (a) hydrogen fuel cell usage in the automotive industry and (b) the UK’s hydrogen economy; and if he will make a statement."
Kemi Badenoch (Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury) "The Government are supporting the development of the early fuel cell electric vehicle market through the £23 million hydrogen for transport programme. The spending review confirmed an automotive transformation fund to help industry transition to low-carbon vehicles. At the spending review, the Chancellor also announced £240 million over the next four years to support the aim of 5 GW of low-carbon hydrogen by 2030."
Net Zero Carbon Economy
Kemi Badenoch (Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury) "The Chancellor’s announcement at the spending review will help us meet our net zero 2050 target by providing the right incentives for individuals and businesses. The spending review commits £12 billion of public investment, kick-starting our transition to net zero and boosting the UK’s global leadership on green infrastructure and technologies ahead of COP26 next year. It also included funding that will encourage protection of the natural environment, including for planting trees, restoring peatland, creating natural habitats and investing in national parks."
Rishi Sunak (Chancellor of the Exchequer) "The new national infrastructure bank will invest in projects like transport, digital infrastructure and renewable energy through a series of loans, guarantees, equity and other hybrid products."
2nd December - Engagements/ PMQs
Philip Dunne "In 10 days’ time, the Government are hosting the United Nations climate summit, ahead of COP26 next year. I urge the Prime Minister not to curb his enthusiasm for the environment. Will he show international leadership by setting out an ambitious but achievable target for emissions in 2030 as the UK’s nationally determined contribution on the path to net zero Britain?"
The Prime Minister "I am proud that the UK led the way in instituting a target of net zero by 2050; of all the developed nations, we were the first. We are looking at our nationally determined contribution, which will be extremely ambitious and will be published around the time of the climate summit on 12 December this year."
3rd December - Transport Decarbonisation
Grant Shapps (Secretary of State for Transport) "The Government are committed to hydrogen as a technology. I recently announced the Tees valley as a hydrogen hub. We have invested £121 million into hydrogen innovation, including the hydrogen buses that are currently running in Glasgow."
"The hon. Gentleman makes an excellent point, which is that 28% of all CO2 now comes from transport, and it is critical that we get it down. I thought he was going to go on to mention that since we last stood at these Dispatch Boxes, we have said that we are going to have a 2030 target for the end of sale of petrol and diesel cars, which will obviously help tremendously. That also includes diesel vans, which will be a very big contributor to assist in this, alongside the £2.8 billion we are putting in to help that switch take place."
Robert Courts (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Transport) "I am glad to confirm that the Government are committed to international efforts to reduce pollution from ships, including through the London-based International Maritime Organisation. I am pleased to be able to inform my hon. Friend that from 1 January 2021, the channel and North sea, including the East Sussex coast, will be designated a nitrogen oxide emissions control area under international law. I thank her for her continued outstanding advocacy for clean air in her constituency and across the UK."
This debate received contributions from Conservative Members Peter Aldous and Caroline Ansell
Walking and Cycling
Chris Heaton-Harris (Minister of State, Department for Transport) "The Government are investing £2 billion in active travel over the next five years, which is the biggest ever boost for cycling and walking."
Rachel Maclean (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Transport) "I share my hon. Friend’s enthusiasm for e-bikes. I got one in the lockdown, and it is absolutely brilliant for the hills of Redditch. She will be pleased to hear that the Prime Minister’s cycling and walking plan includes a commitment to create a national e-cycle support programme. As part of this, we have launched a £1 million e-bike extension fund to enable the increased use of e-bikes, with a particular focus on those hard-to-reach groups, so I would encourage Stoke-on-Trent to consider making an application. As well as this, we are investing £1.3 billion across the country to accelerate the roll-out of charging infrastructure for her constituents. "
(Response to Jo Gideon MP, Stoke-on-Trent Central)
Hydrogen Fuel in Transport
Rachel Maclean (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Transport) "The Prime Minister’s 10-point plan included ambitious new policies and investment in hydrogen, including in transport projects. This includes £20 million for freight trials to pioneer hydrogen and other zero-emission lorries, and £3 million for the groundbreaking and unique Tees Valley hydrogen transport hub."
"When we leave the transition period, EU vehicle emissions regulators will become part of our retained law in the UK and that does mean that only new vehicles meeting the latest standards can be placed on the market for cars, vans, buses and trucks. This is the Euro 6 standard, but I can reassure my right hon. Friend that this Government are committed to hydrogen production. The Prime Minister set out that we are going to be producing 5 gigawatts of low-carbon hydrogen by 2030, creating 8,000 jobs, and I very much hope some of them will be in Thanet."
(Response to Sir Roger Gale MP, North Thanet)
9th December - Green Industrial Jobs
David Mundell "Does my hon. Friend share my disappointment at the SNP Scottish Government’s continued dogmatic opposition to nuclear power, despite the fact that in recent weeks it has been the leading source of zero carbon generation in the UK? Does he agree with me that the refusal to contemplate a replacement of the Chapelcross power station at Annan in my constituency is depriving the area of the high-quality green jobs from which it has benefited from the last 60 years?"
David Duguid (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland) "It will come as no surprise that I do share my right hon. Friend’s disappointment. This Government believe that nuclear has an important role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Nuclear power stations provide the dependable, low-carbon power that is required to complement renewable energy to ensure a low-cost, reliable, diverse generating mix to meet our net zero ambitions for 2020."