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Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP

Minister of State for Business and Energy

Department for Department for Business, Energy &
Business, Energy lndustrial Strategy
1 Mctoria Street
& lndustrial Strategy London

Catherine West MP g, AtlG 2019 r +44 (0) 20 7215 5000

House of Commons W
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Thank you for your letter of 1 July, to the Ftt Hon Theresa May MP, enclosing
correspondence from your constituents, about The Time is Nou/ climate change lobby. Your
letter has been fonrarded to this Department for reply and I am doing so as this matter falls
within my Ministerial portfolio. I am grateful b you for tiaking the time to share your
constituents' concems. Climate change is urdoubtedly one of the most profound global
challenges we face and contributions fum all parts of society are vital. We should be proud
of the UK's leadership in tackling climate change. We have already shown the world that,
with our world-leading scientists, business leaders and innovators, it is possible to cut
emissions while growing the economy. Between 1990 and 2017, the UK reduced its
emissions by 42alo wniie growing the economy hy more than two-thirds. Our progress in ihe
power sector particularly stands out, with over hatf of the electricity we generate now coming
from clean sources. We do, however, recognise the need to go further which is why, on 27
June, the UK Govemment set a legally binding target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas
emissions from across the UK economy by 2050. I noted your constituents' call for net zero
emissions by 2045. Our independent expert advisors - the Committee on Climate Change -
made clear in their report that they do not cunently consider it credible for the UK to aim to
reach net zero emissions earlier than 2050. We have considered their advice and have set
our net zero target accordingly. This target makes us the first major economy in the world to
legislate for a net zero target and will bring to an end the UK's contribution to climate change.

The Government's 25 Year Environment Plan (25 YEP) sets out how, over a generation, we
will replenish depleted soils, cut greenhouse gas emissions, cleanse our air of toxic pollutants
and develop cleaner, more sustainable energy sources. As part of the 25 YEP, the
Govemment committed to creating or restoring 500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat as
_Bart of a Nature Recovery Network and will deve_lop_a new strategy for naturewhich will help
us protect our most important wildlife sites and species.

On 19 December 2018, the Government published draft clauses which will be critical to our
new Environment Bill in setting out how we will create a pioneering new system of green
governance and establish an Office for Environmental Protection, ensuring we succeed in
leaving the environment in a better condition than we found it. The draft clauses introduce a
set of environmental principles that will be used to guide future policymaking and place the
25YEP on a statutory footing.

The Government's target is to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste throughout the lifetime of
the 25 YEP, and for the most problematic plastics we are going faster. We have committed
to work toward all plastic packaging placed on the UK market being recyclable, reusable, or
compostable by 2025. We recognise the problems caused by some waste exports and want
to tighten controls over exports of all wastes. We are looking at a suite of measures including
increasing monitoring of international waste stripments and charging higher fees to improve

These measures are only part of a broader intended Environment Bill, which will include
ambitious legislative measures to address the biggest environmental priorities of our age: air
quality, nature recovery, waste and resource efficiency and water resource management.
The Environment Bill will be intoduced early in the second session of this Parliament.

The Government is_investing {3 billion up to 2021 lo suppgrt lonv-carbon innovation in

the UK, io ensurd tiiat we dntintieto reap the benefrts ftom tfie fiSnsition to a low+arbon
economy. Since 2A11,we have invested f365 million in Carbon Gapture, Usage and
Storage and we are investing up to €50 million in innovation match funding to support the
technology. We have'also made f557 million available for further Contracts for Difference,
which is our main mechanism of support for new renewables, with the third allocation round
having opened for applications in May 2019.

Regarding tax on flights, the Air Passenger Duty (APD) which contributes to the cost of public
services - raised f3.4 billion in 2017-2018. APD is charged on departures from UK airports
and_is payable by the operator of the aircraft. The amount due is dependent on the final
destination and class of travel of the chargeable passengers on board the flight such that, the
further a passengerflies and the more space they take up, the more they pay.

Finally, I would be grateful if yrcu rlrould draw constituents' attention to the launch of our
second Green GB and NlWeek on 4lrlovemberthis year, as part of the Govemment's Year
the pJ le$ yeaf Qteen GB and Nl Weel!29-19-ryill
society ighlight the opportunities, benefits and challenges of
reducing our emissions to net zero, ending the UK's contribution to climate change, and
growing our low carbon emnomy. I would encourage your constituents'to visit the campaign
website if they are interested in getting

Thank you again for taking the time to write. ln addition to this letter, I have also enclosed a
summary of Ten Climate Actions to Celebrate'which may be of interest. I hope you and your
constituents' fi nd this information useful.

lN; {p r^r1r-y
Minister of State for Business and Energy--

1. The UK passed the ln,:ri.3 s ::rs: CliryatAChanqe Act over a decade ago with cross-
party support. This gave us boih a framework to set statutory carbon budgets and set
up the independent Committee on Climate Change.

2_ On 27 June 2019, the UK became the firct major economy to set a net zero tqlget in

3. Since 2000, independent analysis shows that no othe-f.nraior industrialised country

has done more than the UK to cut CO. intensit,, (the measure of cafuon for each
pound e ha\rffieeffreductions of an ayerage of 3:7 percent ayear,
compared to the EU average of 2.3 per cent and a G7 average of 2.2 per cent. The
last time emissions in the UK were this low was in 1888 rnihejl Queen Victoria was on
the throne, and our progress is acceleratirq; behreen 2010pnd 2018, we reduced
UK greenhouse gas emissions by approximately a quarter overall. .

4. End,no .oul ,se rn our electrlcii,i csre'a:ron through a huge shift to renewables and
European ETS). We have seen ooal use on the grid tumble from almost 40 per cent
in 2A12 to our first "coal free' generation day in April 2018 and our first coal-free
fortnight since the lndustrial Rerrolutfrrn in May-to-June this year. By 2A25 the UK will
have no coal powered electricitv qenerairor.

5. We have used this achievement to establish the qlobal Palryeffq Past Coal Alliance
with Canada - a coalition of 8Q national and sub-national Governments, businesses
and organizations committed to phasing out unabated coal generation by no later
ihan 2030.

6. Renewable electricity generation has quadrupled since 2010 and ciean electricitv
now qives us over 50 per cent of our total.

7. Our renewables mix is dlverse but we are rapidly developing the incredible potential
for offshore wind arcund our coastlines, with the world's latgesLq$qhore tuud
capacitv (8GW) and, in March, the launch of a new f250 million sector deal to
provide at least 30 percent of our electricity from offshore wind by 2030 (and a
requirement that at least 60 per cent of the supply chain is UK sourced by 2030).

B. The low carbon sector and its supply chain is now providing almost 400.000 "greg.n
collar' iobs in the UK (rnore than aerospace) and is growing much faster than the
main'economy - with estimated potential exports of more than f60 billion by 2030.

9. The Government-is tity+.a@ili, ver

this parliament - the largest ever public R&D investment in clean growth.

10. We have consistently been in the vanguard of intemational action, helping to lead the
Paris 2015 Climate conference, delivering f6 billion in lntemational Climate Finance
over this Parliament and biddinq to host the crucial 2020 UN climate,_fegglllaliglfE
here in the UK,