The Conservative Environment Network (CEN) awarded senior Conservative MP Philip Dunne the inaugural Sam Barker Memorial Award for conservative environmentalism tonight for his work leading environmental campaigns in Parliament.
Mr Dunne received the award for his campaigns to tackle water pollution and restore Britain’s rivers and work as Chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee, leading parliamentary scrutiny of the government’s environmental policies and championing bolder action. His work leading the Committee and campaigns alongside CEN MPs successfully persuaded the government to ringfence fines against polluting water firms to pay for river restoration, make water firms a statutory consultee for planning applications, and introduce a mandate for sustainable drainage in all new homes from 2024.
The award celebrates environmental centre-right leaders who have successfully championed positive action to restore nature and shown intellectual and political leadership on the environment. It was established in memory of Sam Barker, a former Director of CEN, a passionate and effective campaigner on environmental stewardship who lost his battle with cancer in 2018. Mr Dunne was chosen as the recipient of the award by a judging panel of CEN Chairman Ben Goldsmith, CEN board member Cllr Jane MacBean, Daily Express Environment Editor Steph Spyro, and former Director of Strategy for COP26 Charlie Ogilvie.
Sam Hall, Director of the Conservative Environment Network, commented: “We are delighted to present this award in memory of Sam Barker to Philip Dunne MP, whose leadership and campaigning on environmental issues has been pivotal in shaping our country’s efforts to preserve our natural inheritance. “Philip is a powerful advocate for the environment within the conservative movement, expertly providing political and intellectual leadership to raise the level of ambition and effect change to restore nature and tackle climate change.”
Philip Dunne MP commented: “I am enormously grateful to the Conservative Environment Network for the Sam Barker Memorial Award.
“Over the last few years, we have become all too aware of the dangerous chemical cocktail coursing through our waterways, threatening the health of humans and wildlife alike. It was clear something had to be done, and through my Private Members Bill and our work on the Environmental Audit Committee, we have helped shine a light and stimulate Government action. Returning our waterways to good ecological status will be a long journey, but we will continue scrutinising policy progress in this vital artery of the natural world.”