Anthony has become a Sustainable Agriculture Champion as part of the Conservative Environment Network’s new Net Zero Champions Initiative, aiming to help accelerate action on climate change in Parliament. Along with 24 other Conservative MPs, Anthony will be working to promote a range of technological and natural solutions to climate change, to ensure that the UK creates more green jobs as part of the post-Covid economic recovery and further reduces our greenhouse gas emissions.
In June 2019 the UK was the first major economy to set a legally binding target to reach net zero emissions by 2050, following a Parliamentary campaign led by CEN MPs. Since then, the Government has announced a number of new world-leading climate policies, such as the commitment to end financial support for fossil fuel projects abroad and a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. Last November, the Government launched a 10 point plan for a green industrial revolution, backed by £12 billion of public funding, which aims to create up to 250,000 new jobs in industries of the future like hydrogen and carbon capture.
However, the independent Climate Change Committee has outlined multiple areas where policy gaps remain. The CEN Net Zero Champions will be campaigning for policies to close these gaps ahead of COP26 UN Climate Summit, which the UK is hosting in Glasgow in November.
As a Sustainable Agriculture Champion, Anthony will be campaigning on:
- Delivering an environmentally ambitious Environmental Land Management scheme to make sure it incentivises more climate-friendly farming practices and better soil management. This is a major part of the new system of agricultural payments established through the Agriculture Act to replace the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy;
- Reforming food labelling to promote better environmental outcomes, which could include providing more information on climate impacts and better clarity on ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates to reduce unnecessary food waste;
- Supporting the growing consumer preference to ‘buy local’, by helping to develop local supply chains to support farmers to sell direct to local people;
- Establishing a voluntary Farmland Carbon Code to enable more businesses to offset their emissions by paying farmers to store more carbon in their soils, trees, and hedgerows.
Anthony said: “I’m delighted to be working with the Conservative Environment Network on this great initiative, as part of my commitment to my constituents to champion action on climate change in Parliament. As the hosts of the Glasgow Climate Summit in November, the UK needs to be at the front of the pack globally in tackling carbon emissions. This Government has already taken some big steps forward on climate change, but we now have to go even further to get on track for our world-leading target of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That’s why I’ll be campaigning inside Parliament for further policies for sustainable agriculture that will cut emissions, while also creating green jobs across the UK.”
Sam Hall, Director of CEN, said: “We’re delighted that Anthony is going to be a champion for sustainable agriculture inside Parliament. He is a tireless advocate for green jobs and for ambitious climate action in Westminster and in Totnes & South Devon. Tackling climate change is so important not only because it helps reduce the risks of flooding and heatwaves, but also because it will create jobs in the industries of the future, and make our towns and countryside more pleasant places to live with cleaner air and more access to nature. Our champions will be working together in Westminster to drive action on climate change and to propose new policies to ensure we hand on a greener world to the next generation.”