MPs from the Conservative Environment Network (CEN) Caucus have today welcomed the advice from the Committee on Climate Change, and called for a net zero by 2050 target to be enshrined into law as soon as possible. The Conservative MPs also showed their support for strong policies to help achieve this target, grow the UK's low carbon economy and support new green jobs.
Rebecca Pow, MP for Taunton Deane, welcomed the advice, saying, "the Government's independent Committee on Climate Change has delivered a clear message - we must reach net zero by 2050, and ensure that we have the right, strong and ambitious policies to help us get there.”
Simon Clarke, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, has led a cross-party letter to the Prime Minister signed by over 190 MPs calling for a net zero target. He commented, "I'm delighted that this report further supports the case for net zero. It also shows that we need a clear suite of policies to help us to reach this goal, from bringing back onshore wind to supporting new technologies like carbon capture in my constituency."
Alex Chalk, MP for Cheltenham, introduced a 10 Minute Rule Bill mandating for net zero by 2050 on Tuesday. He said, "climate change is the biggest issue of our time, and one we need to take seriously. We were the first country to set legally binding emission reduction targets in the Climate Change Act, and we can be the first in the G20 to introduce net zero into our law as well."
Recent polling, carried out by Opinium for CEN, showed that 70 percent of the public believe it is important that the UK Government reduces greenhouse gas emissions to zero. Robert Courts, MP for Witney said, “it’s clear that the public want to see us take greater action and net zero can benefit industries across the country. This can bring us all together for a national project of economic transformation, centred on the internationally significant goal of tackling climate change.”
Nigel Huddleston, MP for Mid Worcestershire and the Conservative Party's Vice Chair for Youth added, "students have been striking across the country, calling on us to do more. They want us to protect their world, and this is how we should respond. The scale of this issue deserves a similarly massive commitment from the government, and ending our contribution to climate change is the right way forward."
Oliver Letwin, MP for West Dorset said, "We've submitted a bid to host the vital UN Climate Conference in 2020, setting out the next stage of the Paris Agreement. We should go into this conference with a net zero target set out in legislation to encourage others to make this important step too."
Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton said, “Net zero isn’t just about reacting to the seriousness of climate change, it’s also about embracing the amazing opportunities for clean growth for British jobs and industry. From offshore wind to hydrogen and carbon capture and storage, many areas of the country will be revitalised by this economic revolution as we go for net zero.”
Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth commented, "Great British innovation has helped us to create a world leading offshore wind sector which has halved in cost in the last two years, and in Cornwall we're developing the next phase, with floating offshore wind. We are also learning more about deep geothermal power too. Net zero is an exciting opportunity for our great minds to find new answers for many environmental questions."
Luke Graham, MP for Ochil and South Perthshire also welcomed the news for Scotland, adding, "Net zero is not only about keeping the promises that we made to the world in Paris, it's also the next step in our economic development, promoting sustainable growth with better social outcomes. Today the CCC was clear that every nation of our United Kingdom needs to work together to make this ambitious pledge a reality, with the UK government taking the lead."
Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston said, "the science is clear that if we reach two degrees warming we will devastate our wildlife, losing nearly all of our coral reefs and other vital habitats. If we are to save our natural world we must reach net zero by 2050, and enshrining that into law is the first step.”
Richard Benyon, MP for Newbury said, “we can achieve net zero if we invest in the right technologies, as well as increasing our tree cover to soak up more carbon from the atmosphere. An ambitious programme of tree planting in the right places can only benefit us, giving us more green spaces and cleaner air too.”
Vicky Ford, MP for Chelmsford said, "“The science is clear, we must reach net zero or we will hit two degrees warming. Two degrees means more flooding and extreme weather events, more air pollution, and greater conflict for many regions of the world. We owe it to future generations to act, and so we must go for net zero.”
18 MPs from the CEN Caucus have filmed a short video summarising their views. The MPs included in the video: Rebecca Pow, Alex Chalk, Oliver Letwin, Nigel Huddleston, Matthew Offord, David Warburton, Antoinette Sandbach, Robert Courts, Sarah Newton, Philip Dunne, Mike Penning, Simon Clarke, Richard Benyon, Kevin Hollinrake, Tim Loughton, Vicky Ford, Richard Graham, Luke Graham.