Oxfordshire Will Lead Fight Against Climate Change

This article originally appeared in the Herald Newspaper on 19th June 2019.

Climate change is one of the most profound global challenges we face.

In the Wantage constituency, we have a ringside seat on some of the technologies that will make a difference.

Didcot’s coal-fired power station has closed – and the UK is setting records for days generating electricity without coal.

We have onshore wind farms, solar farms, gas, and research on nuclear fusion.

There are many cutting edge businesses looking to make a difference.

The Government last week announced new legislation to set a new net zero greenhouse gas emissions target for the UK, to be delivered by 2050.

This world-leading target will bring to an end our contribution to climate change.

This makes us one of the first major economies in the world to legislate for net zero emissions, reflecting our global leadership on this issue to date.

This goal is now feasible, deliverable, and can be met within the same cost as was estimated for our current target when it was set back in 2008.

We have already shown the world that with our world-leading scientists, business leaders and innovators (including those based at Harwell Campus, Milton Park and elsewhere across my constituency), it is possible to cut emissions whilst continuing to grow this country's economy.

Between 1990 and 2017, the UK managed to reduce its total emissions by more than 40 per cent while growing the economy by more than two thirds.

We were the first country in the world to set legally binding long-term targets to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

We have shown leadership in our delivery of emissions reductions - most recently, through the first coal-free fortnight on our power system since the industrial revolution.

The transition to a net zero economy presents opportunities to build on the strengths we have already developed in areas such as offshore wind, smart systems and green finance, creating high-value green jobs and new business opportunities across the country.

We already have almost 400,000 jobs in the low carbon economy and its supply chain, and by one estimate this could grow to 2 million jobs in 2030.

Climate change is the most serious environmental challenge we face.

Only by working together can we tackle it.