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Engagement with Sustainability Groups

Volume 696: debated on Wednesday 9 June 2021

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Sustainability groups and wider civil society are essential partners to the UK presidency with their links to communities most impacted by climate change. That is why we have established the COP26 civil society and youth advisory council, allowing a regular dialogue with those groups as we plan for COP26, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has also launched this week the “Plant for our Planet” campaign to encourage all our constituents, and perhaps my hon. Friend, to think about the natural world and how we can live and work better within it.

May I ask the President, and indeed the Vice-President, of COP26 to engage with my constituents and the sustainability groups we have? It is incredibly welcome to hear the steps they are already taking, but we would really like to see a Devonian perspective on COP26 this year.

Well managed agriculture will be a critical contributor to our planet’s climate solutions, and the UK wishes to use its COP26 presidency to drive the global transition to sustainable agriculture and land use. We are committed to using our presidency platform to amplify local climate action, so I am delighted to hear about the activity being led in my hon. Friend’s constituency, and COP unit officials would be very happy to follow up and meet with them.

Devon is not the only area that is leading the way in developing community action plans, and indeed South Shropshire Climate Action has produced the first constituency-wide action plan, which I will be delighted to present both to the President and the Vice-President following this session. Will there be scope for such community groups that are leading the way in finding practical means for communities to help get to net zero to attend COP26 in Glasgow in order to spread this great practice?

We are really fortunate in the UK to have, as my right hon. Friend has demonstrated, a passionate civil society that is among the world leaders in climate action. The UK launched the domestic “Together for Our Planet” campaign to celebrate climate initiatives across the UK and to inspire the public—and clearly they are already inspired—to be more engaged in climate action in the run-up to COP26. So I would be delighted to receive further information on climate action from Ludlow, as well as any other constituency that wishes to submit it, because to be able to share that is absolutely what COP26 is all about.