On 6th May a group of constituents including two campaigners from Kirklees Campaign against Climate Change sent a joint letter to their MP Jason McCartney about government reversals on climate policy.
Kirklees Campaign against Climate Change received the following reply from Jason McCartney on 6th May which we forwarded to all signatories:
Thank you for contacting me about the environment.
I am delighted to say that the Government is entirely committed to protecting both the UK’s vibrant ecosystem and the natural environment worldwide. Environmental and economic progress are not just compatible: they depend on each other.
It has reduced carbon emissions by 6 percent since 2010 contributing to a 27 per cent reduction since 1990, addressing the challenge of climate change while delivering some of the highest economic growth in Europe. Britain’s share of electricity generated from renewables has doubled since 2009 and Ministers are determined to ensure we become a world leader in the new green economy.
In the last Parliament the Coalition Government provided £7.5 million to establish 12 Nature Improvement Areas, created 150,000 acres of priority habitats and planted over 11 million trees. Farmland covers 70 per cent of the country’s land mass, and the Government is protecting it with £2 billion worth of environmental schemes and a further £900 million through Countryside Stewardship. Ministers will build on this by planting another 11 million trees and spending £3 billion from the Common Agricultural Policy to enhance England’s countryside.
Fifty Marine Conservation Zones have been created to help better protect our rich marine life, joining the UK’s over 500 existing marine protected areas, and a new Area is being created around the Pitcairn Islands. In the new Parliament a new UK Blue Belt of protected sites will be created, as well as around the UK’s 14 Overseas Territories where there is local support and environmental need.
Meanwhile I will continue to fight to protect our environment here in Kirklees against the local plan which threatens our green spaces and against fracking. If you have any further inquiries then please do not hesitate to get in contact.
Jason McCartney MP
Member of Parliament for Colne Valley”
Kirklees Campaign Against Climate Change has responded to Jason McCartney’s reply.
We emphasised that we did not claim to represent all signatories of the letter although it was distinctly possible that they would share our opinions.
We stated that we understood that MPs may lack the capacity to respond in detail to large numbers of ‘blanket’ emails, sent in one click by constituents in support of a host of e-campaigns.
However, we noted that the signatories committed considerable time and thought in engaging in the political process, writing their own exposition of how the Government is backtracking on climate change and the consequences of this. This was clearly referenced and – unlike many e-petitions – personalised to Jason McCartney, acknowledging his past support for a clean energy economy.
We expressed our disappointment that Jason McCartney did not address the detailed points the signatories raised about the Conservative Government’s backtracking on climate policies since last May. More specifically, we noted that we remain unclear whether he agrees that this Government’s policies in the past year (as opposed to the actions of the Coalition Government of 2010-2015) have shaken investor confidence and taken the UK off course in meeting its climate goals.
Kirklees Campaign against Climate Change’s response to Jason McCartney MP closed, “No doubt the story of this Government’s climate policies will develop in future months and years. We look forward to further communication on this matter with you.”