I receive regular emails from constituents who care deeply about the environment and the well being of animals.
As Labour Shadow FCO Minister, I have responsibility for the Polar Regions. I have met with members of the Great British Oceans (GBO) coalition (which includes the RSPB, Greenpeace UK and the Zoological Society of London).
I decided to campaign to get the Tory Government to back the Blue Belt and further marine conservation, so that our global oceans and our marine wildlife are protected.
Before Christmas I challenged Ministers at Foreign and Commonwealth Office Questions to commit to establishing a marine sanctuary around the British South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and a series of Written Questions on the Blue Belt have forced the Tory Government to release more information to the public on their plans for oceans around the UK’s Overseas Territories
Earlier this year I led a group of Labour MPs, which included Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, and Shadow Environment Minister, Holly Lynch, to London Zoo, one of the partners of the GBO coalition, to raise the profile of the Blue Belt Charter. We learned that a third of all penguins are British and live in the South Atlantic. Following the Blue Planet BBC Programme watched by 14 million people I encouraged people to #backthebluebelt.
The Government’s 25 year environment plan was disappointing as it seeks to eradicate avoidable plastic waste in (only) 25 years, I, along with other Labour MPs, have committed to engaging even more with these issues, in order to get the Tory Government to tackle plastic pollution today and not in a quarter of a century, when it may be far too late.