Caroline strongly believes that now is the time to act to ensure we leave our Britain cleaner and greener for our children. The UK has cut green-house emissions faster than any other G7 country, which is down 23%, however more needs to be done.
To raise awareness, Caroline has taken part in two #GiveUpPlasticForLent pledges and supported the ‘Plastic-Free Parliament’ campaign where she learnt about the reliance of single-use plastic but also the small changes an individual can make which can make a big difference.
Caroline, along with the then Environment Minister, Thérèse Coffey, launched a new recycling initiative for paper coffee cups in Gosport in January 2018 – the first of its kind in the UK. Created through a partnership between Gosport Borough Council and paper cup manufacturer Huhtamaki, the scheme is piloting a collection and recycling service for used coffee cups for residents and businesses.
She is a keen supporter of local groups who carry out beach cleans and litter picks, such as Surfers Against Sewage and the Gosport Wombles, and can regularly be seen supporting these events. Caroline has also organised a beach clean with the Marine Conservation Society. Caroline welcomed the world’s first ban on microbeads which is another step to tackle the large number of plastics which are choking marine life.
Caroline wholeheartedly supports the Plastic Waste Plan, a strategy for a cleaner, greener Britain by eliminating all avoidable plastic waste within the next twenty five years. She strongly welcomed the proposal for a bottle-deposit scheme and fully backs the 5p plastic-bag charge which has reduced use by over 9 billion bags! Alongside this plan, an ambitious new Resources and Waste Strategy has also been announced which will overhaul England's waste system.
Caroline fully understands how litter blights our towns and roadsides and spoils our enjoyment of the countryside and to tackle the blight of litter, so she is pleased that a new National Litter Strategy has come into force.
Caroline welcomes the positive movement towards renewable energy. Renewable electricity capacity in the UK has trebled since 2010, the UK now has enough solar to power almost 2 million homes and is the most attractive market in the world for investment in offshore wind. Dirty and polluting coal now only produce 1% of our energy with renewable energy generating a third of our power.
Despite significant improvements in air quality over recent decades, air pollution continues to have an impact on people's health so Caroline is pleased that the Government is committed to tackling this problem with the Road to Zero strategy, which sets out the Government's ambition of being a world leader in zero emission vehicle technology.
Caroline supports the UK plan for Tackling Roadside Nitrogen Dioxide Concentrations, which sets out how compliance can be achieved in the shortest possible time and is supported by a £3.5 billion investment into air quality and cleaner transport. It also includes a £255 million Implementation Fund to support local authorities with a range of measures. In addition, there is £220 million for a new Clean Air Fund, allowing local authorities in England to help individuals and businesses adapt to new air quality improvement measures.