Environment and Animal Welfare

The environment is the bedrock of our economy, our security and our well being. Healthy soils, oceans and woodland are vital for our food security, for mitigating and preventing flooding, supporting pollinators and biodiversity more broadly, and storing carbon. Climate Change is having an enormous impact on our weather patterns, sea levels and biodiversity. We must set and meet challenging and world-leading emissions targets. We must put animal welfare and climate change at the heart of decisions about farming and agriculture.

It is therefore vital – should we leave the EU – that we extend all EU environmental rights, standards and protections as a baseline, while introducing more ambitious domestic environmental and animal welfare policy than that guaranteed at the European level.

My Work so Far 

October – I raised the need for government to support councils such as Bristol in meeting air quality requirements in the House, rather than just handing over responsibility with no extra resource or support. Alongside 300 other MPs, I’ve continued to support the Divest Parliament campaign. I was one of the first 100 MPs to join the campaign for MP pensions to be fossil-free.

I also held a Westminster Hall debate on the unacceptable impact of waste processing sites on local communities such as Avonmouth.

September – I helped launch the Science and Technology Committee’s report (which I led work of) on Clean Growth. The report lays out a roadmap for decarbonising our economy on, or ideally ahead of, the Government’s 2050 net-zero target. I welcomed the report’s demand for urgent action to tackle the climate crisis.

August 2019- I joined a ‘Love Horfield’ litter pick, met Extinction Rebellion members in Shirehampton and signed the Labour for a Green Deal Pledge. I also contacted Wessex Water about sewage smells in the Avonmouth area and shared details of my forthcoming Climate Emergency: Conversation event on 14th September.

July 2019- In a letter to Michael Gove, I have called for new powers for  regulators like the Environment Agency to tackle problems at regulated waste sites following another influx of flies to the Avonmouth area. I have also shared my concerns about leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt’s pledge to give Parliament another free vote on fox hunting. I also shared news on WECA’s Green Business Grants.

June 2019 – I supported calls to end the illegal trade in Tigers and big cats and pledged my support to the Surfers Against Sewage Healthy Oceans campaign. I also commented on the Prime Minister’s pledge to commit to zero. net carbon emissions by 2050. This is something I have been campaigning for since hosting two Westminster Hall debates on climate change related to extreme weather and concentrated animal feeding (factory farming), and signing a cross-party letter, in November 2018.

May 2019- I supported the historic Labour-led motion to declare a Climate Change Emergency and wrote to the Prime Minister to bring forward the UK’s net-zero emissions target. I also attended an event held by Meatless Farm to hear more about the positive environmental impact of reducing meat consumption, wrote to the Minister for Energy and Clean Growth calling for more support for Tidal and Wave sectors and contacted the Prime Minister welcoming news the UK would bid to host the 2020 UN Climate Change Conference. I also contacted each primary school in Bristol North West encouraging them to take part in a plastic pollution campaign.

April 2019 – I wrote to the Minister, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the House calling on the Government to table at least a day’s worth of debate to discuss how the UK will achieve net-zero carbon emissions. As part of Parliament’s Science and Tech Committee, I visited National Grid and SSE to hear more about what needs to happen to our distribution and transmission network to ensure we meet net-zero emissions targets.

March 2019 – I spoke in the House of Commons to draw attention to the link between climate change and increases in extreme weather. I also spoke in a Westminster Hall debate to highlight Bristol’s solar success stories and the importance of renewables and in a Climate Change debate where I highlighted the need for the Prime Minister and Government to engage in the discussion.

February 2019 – I sponsored an amendment to the Agriculture Bill – to impose prison time of up to 6 months those who knowingly process, transport, sell and consume dog and cat meat. I also joined Climate Change Strikers in Bristol to support their calls for urgent action against climate change. I also asked experts, at a hearing of Science and Tech Committee, about electric vehicles and energy efficiency.

January 2019 – I spoke in a Westminster Hall debate following the IPCC report and demanded a full debate on climate change in the House of Commons. I also called on constituents to respond to Sims Group’s application to vary their current environmental permit. I received a reply from Bristol City Council Mayor Marvin Rees following my concerns about WECA’s proposal to build a Park and Ride on rare blue-finger allotment land at Sims Hill and parts of Stoke Park.

On the 24th April 2019, I challenged the Minister on the UK Government’s failure to meet our Climate Change target.

December 2018 –  I continued to challenge the Government’s decision to reduce, and in some cases remove, financial incentives to purchase ultra-low emissions cars. I received a reply from DEFRA following my November Westminster Hall debate on Concentrated Animal feeding (factory farming). I also received a reply from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office about my letter calling for a marine blue-belt initiave. With support from students, I planted tree saplings at Oasis Academy Long Cross in Lawrence Weston.

November 2018 – I hosted two debates on climate change relating to the impact on weather patterns and concentrated animal feeding (factory farming), I also wrote to the Foreign Secretary calling for better protection of our oceans. I wrote to all residents of Avonmouth updating on my work in the area including updates on noise, dust, flies and smell, flooding and transport. I signed a cross-party letter calling for a et zero emissions target by 2050. I also wrote a PoliticsHome article on addressing climate change.

October 2018 – I questioned the government decision to reduce financial incentives to purchase electric and plug-in hybrid cars.

September 2018 –  I  challenged the Leader of the House to explain what evidence had been provided, in advance of the decision to remove tolls from the Severn Bridge. I also called for a ban of fur imports and an end to dog fighting. I spoke in a debate about Global Britain about the risks of climate change and threats from the arms technology to international order.

August 2018 – I supported the calls for a marine protected area in the Weddell Sea and voiced my continued concern about the lack of investment in North Bristol’s infrastructure   the impact on air pollution levels following  removal of the Severn Bridge Tolls.

July 2018 – I championed biodiversity, local parks and open spaces by meeting with Avon Wildlife Trust at Lawrence Moors and attending a wildlife walk with the Friends of Lamplighters Marsh in Shirehampton. I also nominated the group for a Groundworks Community Award.

On the 12th November 2018, I held a debate on the scale of concentrated animal feeding operations.

May 2018 – I wrote to members of the Local Enterprise Partnership and the Mayor of the West of England Combined Authority – Tim Bowles – calling for a £50m transport fund, to help reduce air pollution, gridlock and the reliance on cars. I spoke at Veg Fest in Bristol.

April 2018 -I called for legislation to reduce plastic pollution.

March 2018 – I wrote to residents of Avonmouth seeking their views on a regulated corridor.

February 2018 – I met the Environment Agency to talk about flood risk in Bristol North West, tidal energy and regulated industries in the Avonmouth area. I  also supported calls for Westminster to lead the way with a plastic-free parliament.

January 2018 –  I signed a cross-party letter to call on supermarkets to reduce their plastic waste and  hosted a meeting to support the roll-out of district heating in Bristol – district heating would help to reduce use of fossil fuels and fuel poverty.

December 2017 – I called on the Parliamentary Pension Fund to go fossil fuel-free and drop investments in oil, coal and gas companies. I pledged my support to Great British Ocean’s back the Blue Belt campaign.

November 2017 – I voiced my support for the European-wide ban on the use of neonicotinoids and protection of bees.

On the 13th November 2018, I held a Backbench Business Debate on climate change and extreme weather patterns

Click below for more info.