Former Labour & Co-operative Member of Parliament, Kemptown & Peacehaven

Environment Bill

by Isaac Wright on 09.09.19 in Uncategorised
A new, comprehensive Environment Bill must be introduced. We must not allow our loses from Brexit to go unchallenged and we must strive to protect our environment and wildlife.
A new, comprehensive Environment Bill must be introduced. We must not allow our loses from Brexit to go unchallenged and we must strive to protect our environment and wildlife.

Leaving the European Union will also see us leaving behind many of the laws that currently protect our environment. I believe that going forward it is important to cement ambitious environmental protection measures into our own laws. Therefore, in principle I do of course support and welcome a new Environment Act. The only issue I would take against a new Environment Act is if the proposed legislation is not ambitious enough.

A new Environment Act will need to be comprehensive to ensure that we are doing the most to protect British land, seas and wildlife. Ideally this legislation will not just replace the protections we lose to Brexit but will go further and in doing so will demonstrate our commitment to protecting the environment to other countries watching around the world. Sadly, such is the negative impact we have had on the world over the last century, only by working together in a global context can we hope to have a meaningful impact on the future of the environment. If, when the details of the new Environment Act are released it appears to meet this criteria then I would unreservedly support it.

However, the Government’s track record on the environment suggests that I am totally justified in reserving my support. One only needs to look at the Agriculture Bill that is currently working its way through parliament to see that the current government can not be trusted to seize opportunities to push forward ambitious targets on the environment. The Agriculture Bill is vague at best, and in issues as important as this – the devil is in the detail.

I am absolutely committed to ensuring better protections and standards for our environment. I stood on a manifesto that outlined environmental standards as one of Labour’s key priorities in the Brexit negotiation process and am committed to that priority.

I am in favour of introducing a new Clean Air Act to deal with our (in places) illegal air quality, working with farmers and foresters to plant a million trees of native species to promote biodiversity and better flood management, and maintaining our forests in public hands. These were all pledges in Labour’s manifesto that I principally support and will continue to lobby the government on.

Furthermore, I have been involved in multiple environmental campaigns since entering parliament. I have had correspondence with ‘Surfers Against Sewage’ and their ‘Message in a Bottle’ campaign, lobbying the Government to back Labour’s plans for guiding targets for plastic bottle deposit schemes. I have also been working with individuals, constituents and groups including 38 Degrees and Greenpeace to successfully lobby the government to back a full-ban on neonicotinoids – pesticides which are harmful to our bees, which are crucial for our ecosystem and agriculture. I am also a signatory of the Climate Coalition’s cross-party letter calling for a net zero emission target ahead of 2050.

Myself and my colleagues in the Labour Party consistently supported and voted for amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill that would have protected environmental standards after Brexit, most notably Amendment 3 (aka the Krebs Amendment), though sadly the Government voted these amendments down.


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Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Kemptown and Peacehaven

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