Conservative Party Achievements & Announcements on the Environment

Below is a range of policy announcements categorised into key environmental policy areas. This list is by no means exhaustive and further categories will be added soon. You can find out more about each achievement by clicking on the (link) at the end of each sentence. 

To read my recent article on the environmental record of this Government and my response to the recent article in the Guardian about my (and many other MPs') voting record in relation to the environment please click here

You can also read an open letter from MPs to the Guardian, in response to the article, by clicking here

 

Climate Change

● 2019 - Green Finance Strategy introduced ( link )

● 2019 - G7: UK announced £1.44billion contribution to international Green Climate Fund ( link )

● 2019 - World-leading ambition for first “net-zero carbon” cluster by 2040 to cut emissions, backed by up to

£170 million funding  ( link )

● 2019 - PM announced £10 million to protect & restore Amazon rainforest ( link )

● Ongoing - £315 million Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) will support businesses with high energy use to transition to a low carbon future. ( link )

● 2019 - Offshore Wind Sector Deal - to provide a third of UK electricity from offshore wind by 2030 ( link )

● 2019 - £26 million awarded to accelerate rollout of carbon capture and storage ( link )

● 2019 - Becoming the first major economy in the world to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050 to end the UK’s contribution to climate change entirely ( link )

● Ongoing - UK is to host COP26 (UN climate change summit) to encourage other countries to raise the ambition of their climate targets ( link )

● Ongoing - Phasing out unabated coal by 2025 ( link )

● Ongoing - Providing £3 billion by 2022-23 for Contracts for Difference auctions to help develop less established renewable technologies ( link )

● Ongoing - Generating more electricity from offshore wind than any other country in the world ( link )

● Ongoing - Invested £52 billion in renewable energy since 2010 ( link )

● 2018 - Launched CCUS Action Plan - setting out the next steps towards the government’s ambition to deploy CCUS at scale during the 2030s ( link )

● 2018 - Reduced our greenhouse emissions by over a fifth ( link )

● 2018 - Made £557 million available for new renewable energy projects ( link )

● 2018 - Making £60 million available for innovators and researchers to tackle climate change ( link )

● 2018 - Making £40 million available through the Clean Growth Fund ( Link )

● 2018 - Working with experts to set a date to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions to zero ( link )

● 2018 - Making £343 million available to reduce emissions in the civil aerospace sectors ( link )

● 2017 - UK & Canada launch Powering Past Coal Alliance ( link )

● 2017 - 2017 was the cleanest and greenest year ever for electricity, with coal providing just

two per cent of the UK’s electricity ( link )

● 2017 - Launched the Clean Growth Strategy ( link )

● 2017 - Established a taskforce to accelerate the growth of green finance and the UK's low carbon economy ( link )

● 2016 - Secured the Paris Agreement ( link )

● 2016 - Published the Fifth Carbon Budget which outlined the UK will reduce emissions by 57 per cent by 2032 ( link )

 

Plastics

● Ongoing - Planning to ban plastic straws, cotton-buds and stirrers ( link )

● Ongoing - Consulting on the introduction of a deposit return scheme ( link )

● 2019 - Plastic bag sales down 90% since introduction of 5p charge ( link )

● 2018 - Led the Commonwealth countries in the fight against plastic pollution ( link )

● 2017 - Required large retailers to charge 5p for single use plastic carrier bags ( link )

● 2017 - Doubling maximum litter fines to £150 ( link )

● 2016 - Banned microbeads ( link )

 

Oceans

● Ongoing - Announced review into HPMAs (Highly Protected Marine Areas) ( link )

● Ongoing - Calling for 30% of the world's oceans to be protected by 2030 ( link Also ( link )

● 2019 - Extended Blue Belt scheme: £7 million extra funding to protect UK marine life (G7) ( link )

● 2019 - 41 new Marine Conservation Zones, marking the most significant expansion of England’s ‘Blue Belt’ of protected areas to date. Total now 91. ( link )

● 2018 - Working to create a new oceans strategy ( link )

● 2018 - Cutting red tape for divers retrieving marine litter ( link )

● 2017 - Established the Blue Belt programme, protecting 8,000 square miles of UK waters ( link )

● 2017 - Pledged to help small island developing states with marine science, research and conservation projects ( link )

● 2017 - Boosting sustainable fishing by banning discards for certain types of fish ( link )

 

 

Animal Welfare

  • Ongoing - Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund - invested a total of £23 million ( link )
  • Ongoing - Banning the sale of primate pets ( link )
  • Ongoing/potential - Finn's Law Part 2 - increasing the maximum sentence for animal cruelty from 6 months to 5 years (Sir Oliver Heald leads campaign) - see https://twitter.com/K9Finn
  • 2019 - UK leadership influences CITES ban on live elephant exports ( link )
  • 2019 - Finn's Law - protecting our brave service animals by making it an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to a service animal ( link )
  • 2019 - Banning wild animals in circuses ( link )
  • 2018 - Hosted international Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in London ( link )
  • 2018 - Banning ivory sales ( link )
  • 2018 - Providing £6 million to protect iconic and endangered species around the world ( link )
  • 2018 - Banning third-party sales of puppies and kittens ( Lucy’s Law ) and use of electric shock collars ( link )
  • 2018 - Setting the ambition to reduce the number of elephants killed for ivory by at least a third by 2020 ( link )
  • 2018 - Reintroduced beavers to the wild as part of a pioneering natural flood management scheme ( link )
  • 2018 - Creating 500,000 hectares of new habitat for endangered species ( link )
  • 2018 - Launched a new fund to protect bees ( link )
  • 2017 - Recognised that animals are sentient beings in primary legislation ( link )
  • 2017 - Introduced mandatory CCTV into slaughterhouses ( link )

 

Natural Environment

2019 onwards - Urban Tree Challenge Fund: £10 million plan will see more than 130,000 trees planted across England’s towns and cities ( link )

2019 - Cash boost and fairer funding formula for farmers across the UK (£56 million until 2022) ( link )

2019 onwards - Environment Bill Policy Statement ( link )

2015 onwards - Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund: Funding to help groups of farmers, foresters and land managers improve the natural environment. (4th round £2.5 million) ( link )

Ongoing - Field to Fork review of the food system & National Food Strategy (inc hospital and school meals) ( link ) Villiers update here

Ongoing - Designing a new system to replace the Common Agricultural Policy with one that prioritises environmental protections ( link )

2018 - 25 Year Environment Plan ( link )

2018 - Resources and Waste Strategy ( link )

2018 - Expanding and enhancing woodland in National Parks ( link )

2018 - Backed a new Northern Forest, covering more than 120 miles ( link )

2018 - Challenged water companies to improve their environmental record and and improve at least 6000 kilometres of our waters ( link )

2018 - Embedding a 'net environmental gain' principle to ensure new housing developments deliver environmental improvements locally and nationally ( link )

2016 - Established the Natural Capital Committee to provide independent advice on protecting the environment ( link )

 

As a founder member of the Conservative Environment Network, David Warburton pledges to continue to support other Government initiatives including:

2013 - Introduced the Payment for Ecosystem Services scheme, encouraging land managers to maintain and enhance the natural environment ( link )

2013 - Introduced a catchment management approach to improve the quality of our water environment ( link )

2012 - Established 12 Nature Improvement Areas ( link )

2012 - Launched the Love Your River campaign to encourage people to value their local river ( link )

2012 - Created the Canal and River Trust to make Britain's waterways cleaner and more beautiful ( link )

2011 - Launched the Biodiversity 2020 strategy ( Link )

● 2014 - Published the first ever solar strategy which helped to roll out enough solar power in the UK to

power 2 million homes ( link )

● 2013 - Introducing carbon pricing to reduce the emissions firms release into the atmosphere ( link )

● 2013 - Introduced the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme to encourage households and businesses to install renewable heat systems ( link )

● 2013 - Established the International Climate Fund to provide £3.87 billion to help the world's poorest adapt to

climate change ( link )

● 2011 - Established the Green Investment Bank ( link )

● 2011 - Launched the Green Infrastructure Partnership ( link )

● 2012 - Establishing marine conservation zones ( link )

2012 - Establishing marine conservation zones ( link )

News

Safeguarding our natural environment

I don’t have to tell you that Westminster has been rather distracted from the nuts and bolts of reality in recent months and years.