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MP Matt Hancock is encouraged by the progress being made on tackling climate change in Suffolk

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As the summer begins to slip from view, it really does make me appreciate how green and diverse Suffolk’s nature is. From Aldeburgh Beach on the coast to Brandon Country Park, Suffolk’s landscape shows the brightest and best of what our country’s environment has to offer.

Throughout my time living in the county and as Member of Parliament for West Suffolk I have often been exposed to the vast natural habitats surrounding daily life.

Matt Hancock
Matt Hancock

This serves as an excellent reminder that, as the vaccine deals with the pandemic, we must turn to deal with the other big questions in life. Climate change is more prevalent than ever before and poses a threat to our landscape, creatures and life as we know it.

Protecting our climate is a shared responsibility and one we must not take lightly. I am proud of the UK- wide plan for the country to be Carbon net zero by 2050 and to see that our own Suffolk County Council set its goal last year to become net zero by the year 2030. Leading by example, its carbon emissions have reduced by 41 per cent since 1990. This is just one example which goes to show that consistent effort can achieve strong results that help towards preventing further damage to our world.

Post-Covid, our efforts turn to building back better and this can also mean building back greener. Last year, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit a record high which are associated with increased global temperatures. This information hits home and puts into perspective the undue harm our activities can inflict on our planet. At no better time can we take this message as a call for action.

Undoubtedly, the heat is rising around us, and the weather is becoming more unpredictable.

We have seen the damage climate change can do with more flooding each year.

In Suffolk, we are blessed to be surrounded with expanses of greenery and vibrant nature, which we are at risk of harming or even losing if the climate crisis worsens. This is one reason why I strongly believe we each should strive towards a greener future and think about how we can contribute towards this. It makes me proud to observe businesses going green and leading by great example in their efforts to reduce their own emissions and impact on the environment.

Many of these businesses may see themselves supported by the extraordinary work of the Suffolk Climate Change Partnership, a group with shared interests in helping businesses and residents of Suffolk reduce their energy consumption and realise the benefits of this practice. This kind of teamwork is an encouraging way forward and demonstrates that the county is really invested in its effort towards net zero in partnership with the county council and I am excited to see how the people and businesses of West Suffolk continue striving towards the important collective goal.

So, as we emerge out of Covid we must do our best to protect and preserve the natural world around us to the best of our ability. Our planet is warming, but we are not helpless in this battle which we face more than ever before. It is our responsibility both as individuals and collectives, whether that be at home, work or in business. I am encouraged by the progress I see in Suffolk and urge everyone to continue on the path to building back better, post-Covid, and building back greener, for the future.

-- Matt Hancock is MP for West Suffolk

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