Newbury’s MP Richard Benyon met around 30 young people who were taking part in a national day of action on Climate Change. Following a good natured discussion Richard said:
“I enjoyed meeting the 30 or so young people who share my passion for tackling climate change. I was able to give them information about what the Government is doing and what I personally have done both as an Environment Minister and as a back bencher. We in the UK should never be complacent with an issue that is way more important than Brexit. It is an existential matter about whether we are going to survive on this planet.
That said, we can be proud that the UK is a world leader.
• We are the first developed economy to pass a climate change act creating a legal commitment to reduce our carbon emissions.
• We have reduced our carbon emissions faster and greater than any other G7 country. We are committed to phasing out coal fired generation by 2025.
• We are starting the process of moving to net zero emissions. We have banned many damaging plastics and micro beads.
• We have developed our Blue Belt policy which has already seen an area of ocean the size of India protected.
• We have banned to use of peat, protected the uplands, and are developing a new system for supporting agriculture that incentivises carbon sequestration and measures that reverse the declines in species.
Is it enough? No. There is much more to do and much of it starts at home. If we eat burgers, use our phones, drive, fly or just consume we are part of the problem. I am not being sanctimonious because I do all of those, but it is not and will never be just politicians who will solve this. I look forward to more passion from these very impressive young people.”