Blogs > John Glen Salisbury MP Diary > 1st July 2020

1st July 2020

1st July 2020

Although issues related to Covid-19 dominate, the normal business of government goes on, and we continue to work towards delivering on important pledges – not least our commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

This week, I was delighted to advance the Green Finance initiative that we have been developing in  the Treasury for many months.

The aim is to create incentives to facilitate investment in green technology and alternative energy, making the UK a great place to innovate in both financial services and the low carbon economy.

I was able to build on the existing green finance strategy by announcing the first ever green finance education charter, asking financial services to commit to adopting climate goals, while putting ethical green finance at the heart of what they do.

Launch day happened to coincide with this year’s mass climate change lobby of parliament, The Time is Now.

This time last year, Westminster was absolutely heaving, as thousands of people from all over the country came to London to meet with their MPs in person. I remember battling my way onto the bridge and struggling to hear and be heard by my hardy constituents in all the hubbub.

This year’s event was, fittingly, a considerably more environmentally friendly affair – a Zoom call with constituents involved with a range of organisations including the RSPB and Friends of the Earth.

While accepting – as I always have – that climate change is a real threat and we must leave no stone unturned in our efforts to green our economy, I am pleased that the UK remains in the vanguard of international efforts to tackle climate change.

We are already reducing our emissions at the fastest rate in the G20 and we are at the forefront of international efforts to build a global consensus.

Of course, lockdown has caused a lot of people to pause and think about the way the country does business. Adapting to home working has put us in a powerful position to permanently reassess what are necessary and unnecessary journeys. I hope some companies can carry lockdown lessons forward to reduce their overheads and environmental impact.

Many people have also been enjoying the quieter roads and cleaner air and have rediscovered their love of walking and cycling in recent weeks and that is another very positive thing to build on. It gives us a chance to refocus on a long-standing goal – improving the air quality in Salisbury city centre.

Wiltshire Council are working hard to consider the implications and opportunities of a £2bn boost in government funding and support for cycling and green transport and I look forward to some ambitious proposals. 

Posted by John Glen at 11:23am

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