• Hertford & Stortford CLP

The Tories Are Letting Us Down On the Climate Crisis

While Britain hosts COP26, the world’s biggest climate conference, our Conservative MP has once again slavishly followed party whips and voted against common-sense policies designed to protect our environment. The Government’s refusal to protect our rivers and beaches from sewage has been widely publicised, but the bill contained several other provisions which our MP voted down.


Air Pollution


In March 2021, the UK was found guilty by the European Court of Justice of “systematically and persistently” breaching air pollution limits. This followed the death of nine-year-old Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah in London, the first death to be directly attributed to air pollution in the UK. Almost 60% of people in England now live in areas where levels of toxic air pollution exceeded legal limits in 2019 and 2020. Air quality in Hockerill is frequently at illegal levels. An amendment to the Bill to bring air pollution limits in line with World Health Organisation guidance said the limit would have to be met by 2030 at the latest.

Julie Marson and her colleagues in the Government voted the amendment down.


Protecting Bees


We all know how crucial bees are to our eco-system, and that numbers are in dramatic decline. In 2019 the World Wildlife Fund reported that 17 types of bee previously recorded in East Anglia, including the great yellow bumblebee, the potter flower bee and the cliff mason bee, are no longer found here. An amendment creating a “competent authority” to oversee pesticide products, with the body consisting of “individuals free from vested interests in pesticide use” was proposed.


Julie Marson and her colleagues in the Government voted the amendment down.


Independent Monitoring


A watchdog named the Office for Environmental Protection is proposed in the Environment Bill to monitor progress on improvements. An amendment to guarantee the OfEP will be independent was proposed.


Julie Marson and her colleagues in the Government voted the amendment down.


Meeting Targets


The Bill contains clauses compelling the secretary of state to meet long-term targets on protecting the environment, long term being defined as no less than 15 years. In other words the targets will be for future Governments to worry about. An amendment proposed earlier “interim targets”.


Julie Marson and her colleagues in the Government voted the amendment down.


This Government and our MP are not interested in protecting the environment. We need a Labour Government who will take the climate crisis seriously.