In my life, I have had the privilege of seeing many spectacular landscapes – both abroad and right here in the UK. In my security and development career, I visited over 50 countries. For charity, I ran over every mountain in South Wales in under 24 hours.
On my journey, I have also met many farmers and fishermen. They are the stewards of the natural world and help us to get the high quality, home-grown food that we can eat. As an MP, I would like to champion their efforts and hard work.
The Government’s commitment is for the UK to become the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it. This is a pledge in the manifesto on which I proudly stood for election
One strand of this is to improve the quality of the air that we breath. This is important because it is scientifically proven that poor air quality is one of the greatest environmental risks to our health. While evidence shows that our air is now cleaner than at any point since the industrial revolution, there is more to be done if we want to protect the health of our nation.
On my runs over the last few weeks and months as part of the Government's allowance for individual daily exercise, I have noticed a lot fewer vehicles on our roads. This may be largely due to the Government’s rules on social distancing which have seen many people staying at home. It means that less carbon emissions have been released; carbon emissions which pollute our environment and diminishes the quality of the air that we and our loved one’s inhale.
As we embark on our recovery from Covid-19 and the rules on social distancing begin to be relaxed, I want to be sure that we do not reverse the progress we have made. That is why I welcome the multi-million-pound package that the Government has announced to lock in the environment benefits we have seen during the lockdown.
Emergency bike lanes and streets will help to support the transport network; the Government will work with tech developers to reduce crowding on public transport; and trials of rental e-scooters will be brought forward by a year to increase green transport options.
The West Midlands has been invited to test, review, and implement e-scooter trials. This will allow the Government to assess the benefits of e-scooters, with the potential to see rental vehicles on UK roads as early as June. It will help to create more greener travel options for the region at a time when we face an unprecedented climate emergency and people are being urged to leave their car at home.
As a father, I want to know that the world we pass onto future generations is one in which they will be safe, happy, and healthy. I know only too well how important it is to make these ambitions a reality.