LUDLOW MP, Philip Dunne, has welcomed plans by the government to enshrine in law a new target to cut emissions by 78 per cent by 2035.

Mr Dunne, who is also Chairman of the Environmental Audit Select Committee, said while ambitious targets were welcome, the UK is currently off track, so plans must be backed up by concrete action from the government.

“With a little over six months to go until COP26, the climate leadership the UK has shown in committing to cut emissions by 78 per cent by 2035 compared with 1990 levels is incredibly ambitious but very welcome,” said Mr Dunne.

“This move is exactly what we need to see at this crunch point in making the tough decisions to limit warming: to stimulate changes in behaviour and mobilise private sector investment to achieve dramatic change.

“Although this level of ambition demonstrated is very promising as we mould net zero Britain, we cannot overlook the fact that the UK is off-track to deliver against its fourth and fifth carbon budgets, and we are lacking Government strategies on net zero, heat and buildings, and hydrogen – all areas that need urgent clarity, rather than Government dragging its feet.

“We also need to see an end to the stop-start of Government schemes as recently occurred with closure of the Green Homes Grant.

“The Government’s climate sentiment is welcome, but must start being backed up with clear and demonstrable action. More policy inaction could jeopardise the UK’s leadership in this crucial year and set back climate progress for years to come.”

Mr Dunne has also been campaigning for a clean-up of rivers and reducing the level of pollution from sewage works.

Water companies operate sewage disposal works where the waste of homes and industry is cleaned up before being discharged back into rivers.

However, there have been numerous incidents of raw sewage being discharged into rivers either because of a failure or because the sewage works cannot cope with the volume, especially when there is heavy rainfall.

Discharges can cause serious pollution including removing oxygen from the water that can result in the death of fish and damage to the ecosystem.

Other serious sources of river pollution can include farm waste that is highly damaging because it depletes oxygen.

River water is also taken for public supply and a serious pollution incident can result in disruption of supplies including people going without water.