A response from Sir Peter Bottomley MP:
I share your concerns about climate change and the effects it is having on our world.
Biodiversity loss is a global problem that needs a global solution. I welcome that at COP15, the UN biodiversity summit held in Canada, almost 200 countries agreed a new deal to protect nature. The Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) includes a commitment to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 and to protect 30 per cent of land and oceans by 2030. The GBF also commits to ending human-induced extinctions of known threatened species.
The UK played a leading role in the negotiations, building on the UK’s COP and G7 presidencies, including the Leaders' Pledge for Nature. This commits world leaders to taking action to drive sustainable food production, end the illegal wildlife trade and tackle climate change. Climate and Environment Ministers of the G7 have committed to the GBF’s swift implementation, as well as international climate finance to nature-based solutions.
Excellent progress has been made to strengthen global cooperation in the fight against climate change.
Following COP26 in the UK in 2021, I understand that 90 per cent of the world’s economy is now following the UK’s lead by committing to net zero emissions, ending their contribution to climate change.
The UK was the first major economy to commit in law to reaching net zero by 2050. The British Energy Security Strategy and Net Zero Strategy set out how the UK will secure 480,000 well-paid jobs and unlock £100 billion in investment in 2030 on its path to ending its contribution to climate change by 2050.
The England Trees Action Plan sets out how the UK will treble tree planting rates. The £750 million Nature for Climate Fund is the main delivery vehicle and is focussed on peat restoration, woodland creation and management.
Finally, the Environment Act 2021 includes targets to clean up the country’s air, restore natural habitats, increase biodiversity, reduce waste and make better use of our resources. It also includes a target to halt the decline in species by 2030, as well as require new developments to improve or create habitats for nature and tackle illegal deforestation overseas.
Biodiversity net gain and a strengthened biodiversity duty on public authorities will create and restore rich habitats that enable wildlife to recover and thrive, while conservation covenants will secure habitat for the long-term.
The Government has funded public dialogues on a range of climate and environmental issues in recent years which provide in-depth insight into citizens’ views to inform numerous policy areas.
Farmers are paid for actions that support food production and can help improve farm productivity and resilience, while also protecting and improving the environment. This includes actions relating to soil health, hedgerow management, providing food and habitats for wildlife, and managing pests and nutrients.
When adopted at scale by farmers, these actions will make a significant contribution to the Government’s statutory environment and climate targets, and support objectives to maintain food production and improve farm productivity. This includes the aim published in the Environmental Improvement Plan of between 65 and 80 per cent of landowners and farmers adopting nature-friendly farming on at least 10 to 15 per cent of their land by 2030.
Our response to climate change must be unequivocal and effective. It must bring with it the communities and the businesses that make the United Kingdom and set an example for the rest of the world to follow.