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General Election 2024

Kevin Hollinrake

Conservative

Thirsk and Malton

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Parliamentary voting record on environmental proposals (former MPs only)


See Voting record (source: TheyWorkForYou)


For context, please note that MPs of all parties may be ‘whipped’ to vote for their party position.

Candidate Statement on Climate, Energy, Nature and the Environment

The environment is something very close to my heart and I have worked towards its improvement since being elected. In Parliament, I helped to establish the Conservative Environment Network which helps to lobby the Government of the day in favour of better environmental protection, as well as using my vote to support crucial pieces of legislation such as The Environment Act and voting to hold water companies to account. Locally, I have met many groups that champion the environmental cause to see where I can best support them in my role as an MP, as well as meeting farmers to support them in their transition to more sustainable farming. With all considered, it is my belief that we should do as much as we can to protect not only the global ecosystem but also our natural local environment here in North Yorkshire.


The UK was the first major economy to legislate to achieve net zero and is also the first major economy to halve its emissions between 1990 and 2022. With renewables now accounting for more than 40% of the country’s electricity, up from just 7% in 2010, the UK is leading the way on cleaner energy. Although this represents a fantastic amount of progress, we must not stop here. I understand that the Government is working to decarbonise the UK's electricity by 2035, subject to security of supply. This includes the Government’s commitment to deliver 50 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030, alongside the expansion of other low-cost renewable technologies. This ambition, as set out in the Energy Security Strategy, will provide more than enough energy to power every home in the UK, of which up to 5GW is anticipated to come from floating offshore wind in deeper seas.


Further, I am aware that in January 2024, the Civil Nuclear Roadmap was launched, setting out plans for the biggest expansion of nuclear power for 70 years. The roadmap sets out how the UK will increase generation of this homegrown supply of clean, reliable and abundant energy by up to four times to 24GW by 2050, enough to provide a quarter of the UK’s electricity needs. This will help ensure the UK’s future energy security.


Last year, I met with Tim Myatt, the Head of Corporate Affairs for Yorkshire Water, to ask him what his company is doing regarding Combined Sewer Overflows going into our local rivers causing pollution. In reply, Tim highlighted the plans that Yorkshire Water had to clean up their act; I have recently requested an update on progress and currently in the process of organising two river visits to see what impact their plan has had and to hold them to account for this if re-elected.


I think it is also important to mention the monitoring of CSOs for the amount of discharged waste. In 2010, when the Conservatives entered into coalition with the Liberal Democrats, national CSO monitoring was at 7% of all CSOs being monitored; the most recent figures I saw last year was that 98.1% of CSOs being monitored. Therefore, there will be a natural increase in the discharge numbers, as there is a 91.1% increase in monitoring.


This is exactly why I have been proactive in meeting with the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water and have further planned meetings in the coming weeks with them to discuss the health and cleanliness of our local rivers. Moreover, I am working with local groups to clean up our waters and restore the pride of clean waterways for local generations to come. In addition to this, I have met with DEFRA officials and Ministers to discuss what can be done about improving our local water quality.


This extends to legislation in Parliament. The landmark Environment Act 2021, which I proudly voted for, lays down the strongest framework of rules and regulations on pollution from wastewater. This is the first time a government has taken steps to specifically address storm overflows in this way. In August 2022, the Government launched the Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan, that I strongly supported, which places a requirement on water companies to deliver the largest ever environmental infrastructure investment of roughly £60bn over 25 years to help tackle the problem.


Water companies will also be required to increase the capacity of their networks and treat sewage before it is discharged, while significantly reducing all discharges. On top of this, water companies are helping to deliver improvements to 800 storm overflows in England by 2025, by investing £3.1bn.


By 2035, there is a requirement that improvements must be made to any storm overflow that discharges into every designated bathing water. Additionally, water companies will need to improve 75% of overflows discharging to high priority nature sites.


The Environment Act 2021 responds to a clear and urgent scientific case, and growing public demand, for action to address environmental challenges. This landmark legislation sets a new and ambitious domestic framework for environmental governance. The Act requires a new, historic legally binding target to be set to halt the decline in species abundance by 2030, as a core part of the UK’s commitment to leave the environment in a better state than we found it.


Other targets through the Environment Act include improving the Red List Index for England for species extinction risk by 2042, as well as restoring or creating over 500,000 hectares of a range of wildlife-rich habitat outside protected sites by 2042. The Act also introduces a requirement to demonstrate biodiversity net gain on all development sites. I will continue to monitor this closely.


Further, I know that local nature recovery strategies are key to restoring nature. 48 responsible authorities have been appointed to lead on preparing a local nature recovery strategy for their area. These authorities are supported by £14 million of Government funding and will work closely with landowners, farmers and land managers in preparing the strategies.


Finally, I welcome that at COP15 in December 2022, nearly 200 countries supported a new deal to protect nature. The agreement includes a global commitment to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 and also to protect 30 per cent of land and oceans by 2030.


If re-elected, I pledge to bolster and continue this work where possible.


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