November 16, 2019
The government would work with the Devolved Administrations to triple UK tree-planting rates to 30,000 hectares every year – space for at least 30 million more trees – in line with recommendations from the independent Committee on Climate Change.
Existing woodland like the Northern Forest and Northumberland Forest would be expanded, new forests would be created across the country. Towns and cities would also benefit with more trees planted in urban areas to improve air quality.
The fund would also be used to restore degraded peatland across the country, turning it from a source of carbon to a means of soaking up carbon, as well as replenishing native wildlife populations.
The fund would also improve conditions for fishermen who rely on healthy oceans and plentiful fish stocks for their livelihoods.
“There is nothing more conservative than protecting our environment and these measures sit alongside our world-leading commitment to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
“But, just as with our planned investment in schools and hospitals, we can only do any of this if we end the gridlock and deadlock in parliament with a Conservative majority Government.
“That’s why we had no choice but to call this election. And it’s why the choice that people now face as they cast their votes is simple: A Jeremy Corbyn Government that will promise the earth but deliver nothing but more Brexit delay and the chaos of two referendums. Or the Conservatives getting Brexit done, acting responsibly in the national interest and moving the country forward with record investment in our NHS and bold plans for the environment.”
The Fund will be used to dramatically increase rates of tree-planting rates in England with more research into the most appropriate species to plant across the country, a scaling up the nursery sector to grow the saplings, new partnerships with landowners, and increased planting rates on sites.
The Fund will include money for urban trees, which help boost air quality and improve the quality of life in our towns and cities.
The Government would accept the independent Climate Change Committee’s recommendation to increase tree planting across the UK to 30,000 hectares a year and work with Devolved Administrations to achieve this goal. This will deliver new forests across the country, while expanding existing plans like the Northern Forest and Northumberland Forest.
Restoring peatland will also reduce the risk of wildfires and act as a natural way of capturing carbon out of the atmosphere.
The £500 million Fund will, over the next five years, be focused on:
The new fund will strengthen governance, institutional capability and regulations in developing countries – improving surveillance and enforcement – to ensure protection of our most vital marine ecosystems. By using UK satellite technology to monitor marine environments and ensure that Marine Protected Areas are not subject to illegal fishing.
We are world leaders in marine science and research integrity. The fund will help us export our expertise and establish new partnerships for research in developing countries. We will measurably improve capacity and access to relevant knowledge in developing countries to protect marine assets and livelihoods.
We will work with large companies to demonstrate the viability of sustainable production and ocean-friendly supply chains and target small to medium scale enterprises to drive innovation and empower women-owned businesses. We will support countries in implementing port state measures to prevent landing of illegally caught fish.
We upgraded the existing target of an 80 per cent reduction in emissions in the Climate Change Act to achieve 100 per cent, or Net Zero emissions, by 2050 (Prime Minister’s Office/BEIS, Press Release, 12 June 2019, link).
In 2010, total greenhouse gases were 600 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent. In 2018, this had fallen by 25 per cent to 449 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (BEIS, 2018 UK greenhouse gas emissions: provisional figures – data tables, 28 March 2019, link).
We will double the UK’s International Climate Finance to more than £11 billion over five years, which supports poorer countries deal with the causes of climate change like preventing deforestation and reducing carbon emissions (DFID/BEIS/Prime Minister’s Office, Press Release, 23 September 2019, link).
In May 2019, we designated 41 new Marine Conservation Zones – the most significant expansion of England’s ‘Blue Belt’ to date. The UK now has a total of 355 marine protected areas in waters around Great Britain and Northern Ireland. An independent review is currently considering whether stronger protections should be introduced (DEFRA, Press Release, 31 May 2019, link).
Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:
“Corbyn’s Pension Tax will see ten million savers facing a huge bill forcing them to delay their retirement for almost three and a half years.
“This is just one of the ways a Corbyn government would hammer hardworking people on top of his plans to hike up taxes by £2,400 a year, as well as the cost of his plan for unlimited immigration and the chaos of 2020 being dominated by two more referendums – one on Brexit and another on Scottish independence.
“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party can get Brexit done with a deal, get parliament working again and turbocharge our economy to unleash Britain’s potential.”