Renew Our World

In response to the Renew Our World Campaign, David said:

"Climate change is one of the most serious long-term economic threats that this country and this world faces.

The UK is taking a leading role as the world works towards a global deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit climate change to manageable levels.

The year 2015 was important, and the talks in Paris culminated in a global deal, with every country in the world now signed up to play its part in halting climate change. Britain has already been leading the way, and will work towards reducing emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

It's not satisfactory that the dirtiest fossil fuel, coal, is still a major part of our power generation. The UK will be one of the first developed countries to take coal out of the equation, with the recent announcement that all coal-fired power stations where carbon emissions aren't being captured and stored will be closed by 2025. A new, clean energy infrastructure that is fit for the 21st century will be built, based around gas, nuclear and renewables.

Britain is leading by example and the Energy Act works towards decarbonising the UK's energy sector at the lowest possible cost to the consumer. It puts Britain firmly on track to meet the 2050 target to reduce emissions of all greenhouse gases by 80 per cent. Alongside this, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is working with major industrial sectors to set out short-term collaborative actions on decarbonisation through its Clean Growth Strategy."

More information about the campaign can be found here.

Environment Laws

In response to the campaign on environment laws after the UK leaves the EU, David said:

"Ministers are committed to safeguarding our natural environment. Until we leave the European Union, the existing arrangements remain in place. The Treasury has confirmed that any structural fund projects, including agri-environment schemes, signed before our departure from the EU will be honoured for their lifetime even if they run beyond this point.

Following the vote to leave, Ministers will work with environmental organisations and the public to develop new policies. Leaving the EU means we can tailor them to the needs of our precious habitats and wildlife, instead of following a one size fits all approach for 28 different countries. Ministers are committed to seizing this opportunity as they work on an ambitious 25 Year Plan for the environment.

I am proud of the Government’s record in creating and improving habitats, and I welcome the commitment to plant 11 million more trees by 2020. Tackling air quality is another priority. Alongside national action and continued investment in cleaner technologies, in those cities with the most persistent air quality challenges Ministers will legislate to implement Clean Air Zones.

The UK will continue to play a leading role in combatting climate change, as we did at the Paris Conference. Britain’s share of electricity generated from renewables has doubled since 2009 and Ministers are determined to ensure we become a world leader in the new green economy."

More information about the campaign can be found here.

Ancient Woodland

In response to a campaign on the protection of Ancient Woodland David said:

"Ancient woodland is a precious habitat, and I note that the National Planning Policy Framework already contains protections. It states that planning permission should be refused for development that would result in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats, including ancient woodland and aged or veteran trees elsewhere. This can only be overridden if the need for, and benefits of, the development in that location clearly outweigh the loss.

The recent Housing White Paper went further, announcing a proposal to clarify planning policy on ancient woodland and aged or veteran trees, upgrading their protection to the same level as the green belt. The Government will consider everyone’s views and develop this further.

Ministers want to protect and enhance our woodland habitats. Over 11 million trees were planted in the last Parliament and there is a pledge to plant a further 11 million in this one. England’s woodland cover is now expanding at a rate that has not been seen since the fourteenth century."

More information about the campaign can be found here.