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UN Sustainable Development Goals

Volume 692: debated on Wednesday 14 April 2021

What steps he is taking to encourage towns, cities and communities to deliver the UN sustainable development goals at local level in the run-up to COP26. (914043)

Thank you, Mr Speaker. That is a new title. I was happy with international champion, but I am sure vice-president is acceptable, too.

The actions we are taking to tackle climate change support the delivery of a range of UN sustainable development goals. Through the Together for Our Planet campaign and Race to Zero, we are encouraging towns, cities and communities to drive climate action at a local level. This is supported by the COP26 UK mayors and regions advisory council, which includes West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Kirklees Council, and it has set itself an ambitious target of being net zero by 2038.

Will the Minister and, certainly, the COP26 President, in whom I have great confidence, support what we are doing in Huddersfield to make Huddersfield a sustainable town and a sustainable community by rigorously pursuing the sustainable development goals? We are building a network of towns across the United Kingdom. We are up to about 20, and we need to get to 50 and 500. What can the Government do to help us, because it is about grassrooting and making sure that COP26 is not cop-out 26?

It is important that we encourage and, indeed, provide the tools—and the Together for Our Planet campaign is one of those tools—to help our constituents, our towns and our cities to understand and take charge for themselves of the impact they can have in helping to meet our Paris agreement challenge. That involves everything from household choices through to changes in how we run our buses and trains. Every council and every community has a role to play.