Today, Chris Loder MP made an Environment Bill speech in the House of Commons.
The full text:
Mr Deputy Speaker, our natural environment is of growing importance and concern, both in the United Kingdom and around the world. Therefore, it is of great importance that we get our Environment Bill right.
Conservative governments have had huge successes in introducing measures such as the charge for single-use plastic bags, resulting in a 90% decrease of plastic bag sales in the UK but there is still work to be done and I encourage the Minister to now consider banning plastic milk cartons as part of our conservative mission to be the first generation who leaves the environment in a better state than that in which we inherited it.
By introducing a framework for our independent environmental standards after leaving the European Union, specifically on areas such as; air quality, water, biodiversity, resource efficiency and waste reduction, the United Kingdom is exercising its sovereignty and world leading ambition. Setting our own laws is a significant opportunity to not only maintain high standards, but to further exceed them
Firstly, I strongly welcome the governments setting of long-term Environmental objectives. Long-term outlooks are a crucial element in tackling the effects of climate change.
However, there are also more immediate measures to further be introduced by this Bill, for example, positive measure to further reduce single-use plastics through deposit return schemes and community engagement.
West Dorset and Farmers
Mr Deputy Speaker, my constituency of West Dorset is a prime example of excellent environmental stewardship, with vast stretches of countryside and the Jurassic Coast, it is clear to see. Our land has been nurtured and maintained by generations of farmers and these farmers have played the vital role in taking care of the countryside throughout history. They nurture wildlife and habitats, a duty of which cannot go unnoticed.
Unfortunately, this vital work does often go unnoticed and I pay tribute to the thousands of farmers for their environmental stewardship and who dedicate their lives to our land.
I am, therefore, especially keen to seek assurance and clarification from my right honourable friend, the minister, that the crucial role of our farmers is recognised, and that they are granted the freedom to thrive and continue their vital work.
West Dorset and Air Pollution
Surprisingly for some, a principle concern for constituents of mine in West Dorset is air quality. Chideock, a small village in my constituency, is especially subject to air pollution as the A35 runs directly through it, polluting the air with harmful exhaust gases of vehicles from traffic congestion. The World Health Organisation recommends a maximum pollution limit of 10 micrograms per cubic meter of air.
In 2017, West Dorset District Council measured a reading of 61.8 micrograms per cubic meter of air. Constituents of mine in a rural village are subject to such high levels of air pollution. The British Lung Foundation has echoed to me the damaging effects of high levels of exhaust pollutant and this must be a much higher priority. Therefore, I hope that the targets set by the Government will recognise the impact of exhaust pollutants in villages such as Chideock and ensure the safety of all residents from these harmful gases causing a direct and immediate health risk.
Safeguarding our standards
Mr Deputy Speaker, I do welcome the environmental direction in which this Government is heading, but I am keen to encourage the Minister to be more robust with target setting so that our important, environmental standards will not just continue at our high standards, but that our standards will lead the world.