I totally agree that it’s vital for the UK to play its part in combatting climate change. This week, I supported a Conservative led 10 Minute Rule Bill proposing Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050. This is a radical step forward and may anticipate what the Committee on Climate Change comes up with. We must more than meet our national commitments under the Paris Agreement, which has been ratified by the UK as a sign of our continued commitment to climate action across the world.
The deal will limit global temperature rises and avoid the worst impacts of climate change, which is vital for our long-term economic and global security. New, more ambitious commitments on decarbonising will, I hope, be agreed.
Meanwhile, we will be one of the first developed countries to take coal out of the energy mix completely and have announced that all coal-fired power stations where carbon emissions are not being captured and stored will be closed by 2025. Renewable capacity has quadrupled since 2010, and the Government has sent clear signals to investors and businesses about the shift to a low carbon economy through its Clean Growth Strategy.
Locally in Gloucester, we have also made some progress. For example, dozens of businesses signing up to an initiative to reduce plastic waste, and 40 local businesses (cafes, coffee shops and restaurants) have recently signed up to the Refill Scheme, which promotes free tap water, to reduce the use of plastic bottles and in turn plastic waste. I’m also looking at new, viable green energy projects across the city with the council and other organisations.
So Britain is leading the way by phasing out unabated coal, quadrupling renewable capacity since 2010, reducing emissions faster than any other G20 country and increasing the use of green energy. But, we must do more and faster.