Today is Earth Day when people around the world celebrate our natural environment and demonstrate their support for protecting it. It’s a day on which we can take pride in our achievements at the global, national, and regional level, while also recognising that there is much more to do. I am passionate about our natural environment and firmly believe that we all play our part in being custodians, protecting it for future generations.
A great deal of progress has been made since Earth Day 2016 when the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change was signed.
In the UK, the Government’s 25-Year Environment Plan set out our approach to protecting and enhancing our landscapes and habitats, reducing carbon emissions, and living more sustainably. Building on this vision, we want to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and we have achieved remarkable feats such as cutting emissions by more than 40 per cent while growing the economy by more than two thirds since 1990.
However, I am conscious that there is still much more to do and I will continue to play my role locally by championing great causes, such as the Ilkley Clean River Campaign and continue to apply pressure on the Environment Agency to not issue an EA permit for the proposed incinerator plant in Marley. Nationally, I will continue to promote policies and initiatives that support conservation and decarbonisation, and for a significant reduction in single use plastic.
As we are all staying at home during these difficult times, lets take some time today to think about the importance of our natural environment, and how we can all play our part in protecting it.