Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Legislation passed as UK goes #NetZero to combat Climate Change

The Climate Emergency is one of the biggest challenges facing our nation. We have done a lot, and I am proud of the role that the Coalition and Conservative Governments have played. 

Since 2010, Britain has reduced carbon emissions by 25%. This is by far the best rate of reduction among G20 countries who managed to reduce their overall emissions. Coal is being rapidly phased out, and by 2025 all of our remaining coal fired plants will be closed. 

Fossil fuels are on track to produce less than half the UK's electricity for the very first time. Last year, renewables generated 37.1% of Britain's electricity, up from 6.1% in 2010. 

But there is always more we can do. 

That is why yesterday was a historic day in Parliament. As a country, we have now legislated to ensure Britain's contribution to climate change will end by 2050, so that we have #NetZero carbon emissions. 

Tomorrow, I am looking forward to welcoming constituents from across my constituency to Parliament for an in-depth discussion as part of 'The Time is Now' mass lobby. 

As the Minister for Pensions, I have passed legislation to ensure that our occupational pensions can play their part in helping to tackle our Climate Emergency. For too long, too many of our pension company trustees have considered the environmental practices of the firms they invest in to be purely ethical concerns that they need not worry about. That is wrong. Under new Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance [ESG] legislation, trustees must now consider the environmental practices of firms when they set out their investment strategies.

Click here to read my recent article in The Times to find out more.

If you want to read in more detail what the governments past and present have done to tackle climate change, click here. 

Tackling the Climate Emergency is something I take extremely seriously. Because if we don't address these long-term issues now, there won't be a long term. We need a cleaner, greener future that is increasingly powered by renewable energy.

To achieve this, we all must play our part - from government, down to the actions we take as individuals - and I hope you'll join me in helping to tackle our climate emergency.

Are you coming to London for 'The Time is Now' Mass Lobby tomorrow and as a Hexham constituent would like to attend the meeting in Parliament? Please get in touch with me at guy.opperman.mp@parliament.uk as, subject to parliamentary votes and business, I will be meeting with constituents. 

Walking for health in Ponteland

A new scheme in Ponteland is seeing local residents put on their walking boots for a series of weekly short walks. The West Northumberland Health Walks take place every Tuesday, starting at Ponteland Leisure Centre at 10.30am. The walks are short and all on easy terrain- led by trained volunteers, each walk lasts between 60 and 90 minutes. A great way to take regular exercise and improve your health whilst making new friends- why not get involved?!

To find out more, contact Lorraine Oliver at loliver@activenorthumberland.org.uk or 01670 622368, or Gordon Allan on 07936 135469. 

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Eals Bridge is back to its best

I recently went along to see the work which has been done to restore the 300-year-old Eals Bridge near Knarsdale, after it was badly damaged by Storm Desmond in 2015/16. The storm caused structural damage to the bridge, as well as millions of pounds worth of damage to local homes and infrastructure. Northumberland County Council’s repair programme, which was partly funded by the Department for Transport, allocated £14.6m to repair damage around the county, and it was great to be able to see the completed work to Eals Bridge which provides a vital link between some of our most remote communities.