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Queen’s Speech: environment and climate change must be at the heart of this government’s policy agenda

19th December 2019

Reacting to today’s Queen’s Speech, Nick Molho, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said: “The next five years will determine whether the UK is on track to deliver its net zero emissions target and reverse the decline of the natural environment. With ample cross-party consensus, two major global summits in 2020 and growing business and public calls for more action, this government has the historic opportunity to push forward the most ambitious environmental and climate policy agenda on record. The Environment Bill announced today will be an important step in this direction: it should set robust environmental improvement targets, set tangible interim milestones and establish a truly independent Office for Environmental Protection.”

Nick Molho added: “The measures introduced in the Environment Bill need to be rapidly accompanied by a truly ambitious and concrete policy plan for achieving net zero emissions covering areas such as buildings, surface transport and industrial decarbonisation. It is vital that this plan is delivered well ahead of the autumn in order to maximise the UK’s influence as host of COP26 and ensure this crucial summit results in a meaningful increase in global emission reduction pledges.”

PARLI

General Election: now or never for the environment and climate change

13th December 2019

Following the success of the Conservative Party at the General Election, the Aldersgate Group urges the new Government to press ahead with a meaningful and ambitious climate and environmental agenda.

Nick Molho, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said: “The Government’s policy decisions in this parliamentary term will be absolutely critical. They will determine whether the UK is genuinely on track for achieving its net zero target and reversing the decline of the natural environment within a generation. They will also determine whether UK businesses can become amongst the most competitive providers of low carbon goods and services globally. The Prime Minister and the Conservative Party have been consistent in voicing their support for climate and environmental action throughout the campaign, they must now deliver on the ground with the urgency and thoroughness that the clean growth challenge requires.”

Nick Molho added: “Businesses want the Government to hit the ground running in 2020, with urgent policy decisions needed on the environmental and climate agenda. Key priorities should include putting together credible plans to deliver and fund the net zero transition and introducing an ambitious Environment Bill to safeguard the proper enforcement of environmental law and introduce legally binding environmental improvement targets. This will need to be complemented by putting in place a climate diplomacy and trade strategy that is consistent with delivering the UK’s climate and environmental targets.” [1]  

—ENDS—

[1] The Aldersgate Group launched its Manifesto report on 21 November 2019, setting out key policy priorities across the climate and environmental agenda for the next Government. The report is available at: http://www.aldersgategroup.org.uk/latest#general-election-2019-next-five-years-crucial-to-deliver-climate-and-environmental-goals

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The European Green Deal: an ambitious roadmap that needs to be rapidly followed by clear legislation

11th December 2019

Responding to the European Green Deal unveiled today by new Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen, Nick Molho, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said “As a cross-economy organisation with business members eager to invest in the EU’s climate resilient and low carbon infrastructure, we welcome today’s European Green Deal. Launching a flagship policy on climate change and environmental standards on the 11th day of the new Commission sends a powerful signal to the business community about the EU’s intention to transition to a net zero emissions economy. However, the Commission and other EU institutions now need to rapidly legislate for a net zero emissions target and an intermediate 2030 target to halve current EU emissions. These institutions should also ensure that the governance arrangements and policy goals for the Green Deal are mainstreamed across all areas of EU and member states’ policy decision making.”

Nick Molho added: “For the European Green Deal to be effective, it will need to be supplemented by ambitious near-term measures to accelerate emission cuts in the buildings, transport and energy sectors, as well as greening the financial system. These near-term priorities must be urgently accompanied by an ambitious EU-wide innovation programme to test critical solutions like carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and new land use management techniques. These will be key to cutting emissions in hard to treat sectors, such as heavy industry, and long-distance transport. Lastly, the EU institutions need to think ambitiously about a strategy on agriculture which ensures that the European Green Deal principles are placed at the heart of the Common Agricultural Policy.”

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