Environment Bill

(2nd reading: House of Commons)
(Money resolution: House of Commons)
(Ways and Means resolution: House of Commons)
(2nd reading: House of Commons)
(Money resolution: House of Commons)
(Ways and Means resolution: House of Commons)
John Bercow Excerpts
Monday 28th October 2019

(11 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Second Reading

Mr Speaker Hansard
28 Oct 2019, 6:49 p.m.

Before I invite the—it says here the Minister, but this is no mere Minister—the Secretary of State herself to move the Second Reading, I must announce my decision on certification for the purposes of Standing Order No. 83J (Certification of bills etc. as relating exclusively to England or England and Wales and being within devolved legislative competence), with which I am sure colleagues are keenly familiar. On the basis of material put before me, I certify that, in my opinion, clauses 1 to 18, 23, 52, 78, 84 and 88 to 121 of the Environment Bill and schedules 15 to 19 to the Bill relate exclusively to England on matters within devolved legislative competence, as defined in Standing Order No. 83J; and—I know colleagues are keenly hanging upon this—clauses 56, 61, 63, 65, 73 to 75, 77 and 86 of the Environment Bill and schedule 11 to the Bill relate exclusively to England and Wales on matters within devolved legislative competence, as defined in Standing Order No. 83J.7.7 pm

Theresa Villiers Portrait The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Theresa Villiers) - Hansard

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

This is a Government who recognise the profound importance of the great environmental challenges of our time. We are the first Government to set the goal that this generation should leave the natural environment in a better state than it was bequeathed to us. This is the first Government to make a legally binding commitment to become a net zero carbon economy. We have cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25% since we returned to office, while growing the economy at the same time. We have pledged more funds than ever before to help the developing world reverse the decline of nature and tackle climate change. We are determined to respond to the grave public concern about these threats, so a new Cabinet Committee will co-ordinate work on climate change across Government, under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister.

Our action is guided by the mounting scientific evidence of the inextricable link between climate and nature. Wildlife habitats are crucial carbon storage systems. Protecting those forests, peatlands and natural open spaces is vital if we are to have any chance of averting disastrous climate change.