These are incredibly difficult times for the country and while it is paramount to protect jobs and the economy, questions are also being asked about the way the country does business.
Last year over 12,000 people lobbied the Government in the Time is Now campaign to raise their concerns about climate change. I welcome the increased awareness and discussion on this issue. I do agree that as we recover from Covid-19, the Government needs to deliver an economy which is stronger, greener, more sustainable and more resilient. I was therefore pleased that, on 8 June, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announced a Green Recovery working group, one of five new ‘recovery roundtables’ bringing together businesses, business representative groups and leading academics, to unleash Britain’s growth potential and help the economy recover from the pandemic. This group will explore how to capture the economic growth opportunities from the shift to net zero emissions.
The UK has played a world-leading role in tackling climate change and the transition to Clean Growth, with the UK being the first country to legislate to eliminate our contribution to climate change by 2050, and the fastest in the G20 to cut emissions. Since 1990, the UK has cut emissions by more than 40 per cent while growing the economy by more than two thirds, and we are a world-leader in offshore wind.
At the same time, the Environment Bill is being introduced to protect and improve the environment for future generations, enshrining in law environmental principles and legally-binding targets, and the first progress report of the Government’s ambitious 25 Year Environment Plan found that 90 per cent of the priority actions have been delivered or are on track for delivery.
Reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change will continue to be priorities for me and my Ministerial colleagues.