On 26th June 2019 Lord Bird asked the Government, “by what means, if at all, they require public bodies to act, and to demonstrate how they act, in a manner which seeks to ensure that the needs of the present generation are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steven Croft, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, it has been a real privilege today—as the noble Lord, Lord Bird, mentioned—to spend time with some of the 16,000 people, many of them young, representing all faiths and none, who have come to say to Parliament that the time is now on climate change. I very much support the proposal from the noble Lord, Lord Bird. Does the Minister agree that the issues of climate change, both in the material sense and the perceived sense—public opinion—are absolutely the pressing priority for the future generation? Following the commendable adoption of the net zero by 2050 target, will the Minister share with the House what the Government’s next three priorities are in combating climate change?
Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford asks Government for its climate change priorities”
On 5th June 2019 Lord Cameron of Dillington led a debate on a motion “to ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to (1) harness the potential of tidal ranges to generate renewable energy, and (2) encourage the private sector to invest in this area.” The Lord Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: My Lords, this debate has already become something of a no-brainer. Quite a lot of what I wanted to say has been said, so there is no point in repeating it, but I want to thank the noble Lord, Lord Cameron, for asking the Question which has generated the debate.
The context is one in which we see a climate emergency, an increasing number of councils across the country responding to it and the other place in Parliament recognising that. Whatever we think of Extinction Rebellion, it has raised the public profile and urgency of the climate change debate and the environmental awareness of what is required of us as legislators. It cannot be business as usual.
Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury calls for substantial determined and transformative response to climate challenges”
On 22nd May 2019 Baroness McIntosh of Pickering asked the Government “when they expect the Office for Environmental Protection to be operational; what its remit will be; and in the interim, which body will ensure compliance with environmental protection legislation and regulations.” The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Winchester: My Lords, a new global review has concluded that the damage to human health from air pollution extends to all organs of the body. Southampton in my diocese is now among the top 20 UK cities already at the pollution-level limit of 10 micrograms per cubic metre. I therefore press the Minister to confirm what responsibility the office for environmental protection will have in holding the Government to account for implementing their commitment to the clean air strategy, which is internationally recognised by the WHO.
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On 7th May 2019 Lord Dubs asked the Government “what their latest proposals are to reduce the use of plastics.”. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith and the Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked follow up questions:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, many consumers are now choosing to use biodegradable bags rather than plastic ones, believing these to be preferable, yet researchers from the University of Plymouth have shown that many of these bags are not in fact biodegradable. Will Her Majesty’s Government undertake to produce clear standards and guidelines so we can be sure that these are biodegradable and improve the environment, and that we are not misled?
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On 2nd May 2019 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Rooker, that “this House takes note of Her Majesty’s Government’s legal responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as detailed in the Climate Change Act 2008 and the implications of continuing climatic changes for global security and stability and for the world economy.” The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: My Lords, the context of this debate has changed radically over the past few months. Whatever you think of the tactics of Extinction Rebellion, what has been created by its disruption has put the environment on the agenda in a new way and with greater urgency. The debate in the other place yesterday on a climate emergency was Parliament catching up with more than 40 councils in the UK that have decided to act in response to this climate emergency, including Wiltshire declaring that it will be carbon neutral by 2030. Two-thirds of Britons are now said to agree that the planet is in a climate emergency.
Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury calls for climate action and legally binding target of net zero emissions by 2045”
On 11th April 2019 the Bishop of St Albans received a written answer to a question on children’s exposure to air pollution:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: (HL14975) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the report by Unicef Healthy air for every child: A call for national action, published on 5 February; and what steps, if any, they intend to take in response to its recommendations, in particular the recommendation to set up a “Little Lungs Fund” of £215 million to pay for measures that specifically reduce children’s exposure to toxic air. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about action to protect children from air pollution”