The UK is a global leader in tackling climate change. Under this Government, the UK is the first major economy to have adopted a legal obligation to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Since 2000 we have reduced emissions more quickly than any other country in the G20 group of leading global economies.
Tackling emissions helps to create a healthier world for our children and grandchildren. So it is good to see this commitment by Government underpinned by substantial budget allocations and detailed plans across industries and departments. This week we saw details of the decarbonisation plan announced by the Department of Transport including roads and vehicles. Something very close to our hearts in Dover and Deal.
What’s so interesting about the transport decarbonisation plan is that it harnesses technology and science. This is a very different approach to that called for by some hard-line climate campaigners which could see cars banned, our port industry decimated by lorry transit restrictions, or want to shackle our movements to the physical limits of where we can cycle or walk.
It is absolutely right to tackle climate change but there should be no need for such an extreme approach. We can change our industrial legacy and dependence on carbon and still walk, jog, cycle, drive and fly – with imagination and investment. That’s what underpins the Government’s approach. Harnessing new technology and creating over £9Billion in jobs and investment to boot, such as the UK’s first-ever multi-million pound hydrogen transport hub in Teeside, recently announced by the Prime Minister.
A once-in-a-generation commitment to the environment of this type will bring with it significant changes to us all. One of these is that that the sale of new cars with ‘old’ polluting technology will be banned by 2040. This is similar to the changes we saw in previous decades, like the change to unleaded petrol and new fuels like LPG. I will be pressing Government for financial support for that transition to new cars over the coming decades – and also that the much-needed road investment like our A2 dualling continues at pace. The allocation of nearly £3Billion to support motorists to switch to cleaner vehicles is vital financial support for these plans.
Locally, I will continue to support a green and prosperous future for Dover and Deal. Dover District Council already has ‘The Local Plan’ draft which sets out a vision and a framework for the future development of our area. Addressing needs and opportunities for housing, the economy, community facilities and infrastructure. As well as the basis for conserving and enhancing the natural and historic environment, mitigating and adapting to climate change. Much is being done to support a sustainable future and progress is already being made in the UK, with £2 billion also pledged for cycling and walking.
The UK looks to a bright future of sustainable economic growth. As we build back better, we will also be building back greener too.