On 17th May 2021 the Bishop of Bristol spoke during the third day of debate in the House of Lords on the Queen’s Speech. She focused on the environment and the Government’s Environment Bill.
“My Lords, along with others in this House, I welcome the speeches of the noble Lords, Lord Coaker and Lord Morse. I remember making my own maiden speech in the debate on the Humble Address in 2019, though of course in rather different circumstances. When I gave that speech, we were looking ahead to 2020 as the year of climate action. Instead, the impact of Covid-19 has understandably been the focus of global activity. However, the situation for our planet is becoming more urgent, not less. With another year of action now lost because of Covid-19, we need meaningful global, national and local agreements on the climate and biodiversity issues more than ever before.
Continue reading “Queen’s Speech – Bishop of Bristol on climate and environment”
On 16th December the Bishop of St Albans received answers to two written questions on fly-tipping of electronic and hazardous waste:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park on 6 February (HL944), what progress they have made on the introduction of a mandatory electronic waste tracking system to combat fly tipping. [HL11049]
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about fly-tipping of electronic and hazardous waste”
On 14th December during exchanges in the House of Lords on work of the Committee on Climate Change, the Bishop of Salisbury asked about tree planting targets:
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury [V]:
My Lords, the Government have made a number of statements, which, with the 10-point plan and the upping of the nationally defined contributions to the Paris Agreement, are very welcome. The Government’s manifesto commits to planting 30,000 hectares of trees per year. That is a really key target to aim for in relation to the climate change committee’s report, but it is one that we have missed by 71% in the last year and consistently over previous years. I much admire the Prime Minister’s ambition, but how are the Government to ensure that performance exceeds or matches that ambition?
Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about missing its tree planting targets”
On 10th December the Bishop of Salisbury received a written answer to a question on a potential environmental governance gap after the end of the Brexit transition period:
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what measures are in place (1) to prevent, and (2) to minimise the impact of, any environmental governance gap after 31 December. [HL10783]
Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury asks about environmental protection after end of Brexit transition period”
On 19th November the Bishop of Salisbury asked a question he had tabled to Government, on fuel intensive businesses moving to net zero carbon emission. The exchanges are below, along with the follow-up questions from other Members:
Fossil Fuels: Business
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the report by the Transition Pathway Initiative Management Quality and Carbon Performance of Energy Companies: September 2020, published on 7 October, what steps they plan to take to encourage fossil fuel intensive businesses to accelerate their move to net zero carbon emissions.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Lord Callanan) (Con): My Lords, the Government have schemes worth nearly £2 billion operating or in development to support our vital energy-intensive industries to decarbonise. These schemes include the industrial energy transformation fund to help companies to reduce their fuel bills and transition to low-carbon technologies, and the industrial decarbonisation challenge to support industry with the development of low-carbon technologies in industrial clusters.
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: I thank the Minister for his Answer. There have been some welcome and notable commitments, particularly by European oil and gas companies, but overall, the sector is not moving fast enough to align with the Paris agreement. How does the Minister see the Government supporting companies to move faster and have consistent standards for reporting all emissions from scopes 1, 2 and 3 so companies demonstrate alignment clearly in their reporting?
I commend to the Minister the work of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change working with TPI to establish a net-zero standard. It would be marvellous if the Government supported these endeavours in the context of their presidency of COP. Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury asks Government to encourage fossil fuel intensive businesses to accelerate move to net zero carbon emissions”
On 18th November the House of Lords considered the Government’s Ship Recycling (Facilities and Requirements for Hazardous Materials on Ships) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020. The Bishop of Salisbury spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: My Lords, neither ship recycling nor Northern Ireland are my territory, though church is sometimes seen as an ark to gather people safely and hazardous materials are a concern for us all. It is important for Northern Ireland to thrive as best it can within the new political arrangements that are still unfolding. The purpose of this SI is clear and not controversial; it is to the benefit of one shipyard in Northern Ireland. The EU has developed a good scheme for overseeing this process and I am sure we will be glad to continue to use it. Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury raises environmental implications of ship recycling regulations”
On 29th October the Bishop of Salisbury received written answers to two questions of Government, on (i) tree planting targets and (ii) working with business to address species and habitat destruction caused by UK supply chains:
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to reach their tree planting target as set out in the Tree Planting Strategy; and if they have not reached that target, what assessment they have made of the reasons why they have not done so. [HL9249] Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury asks about tree planting, species and habitat destruction”
On 27th October the House of Lords considered the Government’s Infrastructure Planning (Electricity Storage Facilities) Order 2020 in Grand Committee. The Bishop of Salisbury took part in the debate, highlighting the need for local authorities to be properly resourced to respond, and the value of microgeneration:
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury [V]: My Lords, this is not really my territory. I hesitate to come into this discussion but I will not delay noble Lords long. I note that the Delegated Legislation Committee in the other place dealt with this proposal in 13 minutes and, even then, the Minister commented on the widening of the discussion beyond the SI itself. That has already begun to happen in this discussion.
There seems to be little controversy surrounding the SI. The 2019 consultation drew 28 responses from industry, which were broadly supportive. However, is not the question that needs to be addressed on what additional funding will be given to local authorities to ensure that there is sufficient expertise and capacity for local planning officers to make fully informed decisions about these planning requests? Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury calls for more focus on energy microgeneration”
On 20th October the Bishop of St Albans received a written answer to a question he had asked Government about the restoration of wood pasture:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what scheme they intend to establish to replace Natural England’s Wood-Pasture Restoration Option within the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. [HL8829] Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about wood pasture restoration”
On 8th October 2020 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Trade Bill in committee. The Bishop of Blackburn spoke in support of amendments that would:
- require parliamentary approval of both negotiating objectives and of free trade agreements before the UK becomes a signatory to any agreements, to safeguard food, environmental, animal welfare and health standards.
- ensure trade agreements cannot be implemented, signed or ratified unless they are consistent with the provisions of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Bishops’ speeches are below and the full text of the amendments beneath.
The Lord Bishop of Blackburn: My Lords, having made my maiden speech a week or so ago at Second Reading of the Bill, I am very grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Purvis, for proposing Amendment 35, to which I wish to speak, without, I have to say, the expertise of other contributors, but I shall speak in favour of the amendment on two counts, only simply, as I do not wish to repeat what has already has been said. Continue reading “Trade Bill: Bishop of Blackburn supports amendments on sustainable development goals, environmental, health and food standards”