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Climate Change: Nature-based Solutions

Volume 728: debated on Thursday 23 February 2023

4. What discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero on her Department’s future role in promoting nature-based solutions to climate change. (903653)

Throughout our net zero strategy, and in more detail across the 10 goals and 262 pages of our environmental improvement plan, we have clearly set out that nature-based solutions to net zero are at the heart of everything we are doing.

Coastal wetlands have huge potential both in terms of biodiversity and as carbon sinks, but there is an evidence gap that means we cannot exploit their potential by attracting full private and public sector investment. The right hon. Member for Kingswood (Chris Skidmore) said in his recent net zero review that that needs to be part of the greenhouse gas inventory, but we need the evidence base. Can the Minister clarify whose job it is to conduct that work so that we can fully maximise the potential of wetlands? Is it her Department, or is it the new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero?

I reassure the hon. Lady that I whole- heartedly agree with her on the value of wetlands. I recently attended the Slimbridge Wetland Centre with the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and saw for myself how beneficial wetlands can be. In direct response to her question, the responsibility in DEFRA lies with me. I look forward to meeting her to explain exactly how we are creating more wetlands and how nature-based solutions will feature throughout our net zero and other strategies.