On the 17th February the Environmental Audit Committee produced its third report for the session 2019 -21, entitled: Growing back better: putting nature and net zero at the heart of the economic recovery.  Summaries and the full report (PDF) are available from the website linked above. It doesn’t pull any punches! ….

The cross-party EAC warns that if the economic recovery from covid-19 is not used as an opportunity to ‘grow back better’, climate change and biodiversity collapse may deliver an even greater crisis.

While the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution points in the right direction, it is not yet investible and underlying strategies need to be published rapidly to give industry confidence. The report calls for the Government to front-load its investment in areas such energy efficiency, the circular economy, climate adaptation and nature recovery, to counter rising unemployment by creating green jobs. The EAC heard that this investment will provide economic multipliers in terms of jobs and improved productivity and will offer wider benefits such as cleaner air and warmer homes.

Infrastructure invested in now will be in use for decades to come. It is essential that all decisions on infrastructure investment comply with the UK’s air quality, biodiversity protections and climate change commitments.

In  section 4 Fiscal and financial incentives for a green recovery, pp 59-71, the report quotes Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO of OVO Energy, on the equitability of a CF&D policy. The report recommends that ….

The Government should begin scoping work on a carbon tax to incentivise low-carbon changes across the whole economy. One of the most economically efficient ways to incentivise low-carbon choices would be through the introduction of an economy-wide carbon tax. We recommend that the Government investigate the merits of carbon border adjustments, to accompany work on a carbon tax, as one way of addressing carbon leakage. We recognise this would also require measures to ensure that such policies do
not adversely impact developing countries.

Below is the list of the EAC committee members. If you are in a member’s constituency why not write and congratulate them on all their hard work and discuss why you think CF&D would be such a useful and equitable fiscal tool in the fight to build back better! Don’t forget the new Helpdesk is here to help with any letter writing issues!

EAC Committee Members:

Chair Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP  Conservative  Ludlow
Duncan Baker MP  Conservative North Norfolk
Sir Christopher Chope MP Conservative Christchurch
Feryal Clark MP  Labour  Enfield North
Barry Gardiner MP  Labour  Brent North
Rt Hon Robert Goodwill MP Conservative  Scarborough and Whitby
Ian Levy MP  Conservative  Blyth Valley
Marco Longhi MP Conservative Dudley North
Caroline Lucas MP Green Party Brighton, Pavilion
Cherilyn Mackrory MP Conservative Truro and Falmouth
Jerome Mayhew MP Conservative Broadland
John McNally MP Scottish National Party Falkirk
Dr Matthew Offord MP Conservative Hendon
Alex Sobel MP Labour Leeds North West
Claudia Webbe MP Independent Leicester East
Nadia Whittome MP Labour Nottingham East

To check which constituency you are in and to find information on MPs look at https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mps/

On the 18th February the first United Nations Environmental Programme synthesis report was released,  Making Peace with Nature: A scientific blueprint to tackle the climate, biodiversity and pollution emergencies states that…..

Shifting taxation from production and labour to resource use and waste promotes a circular economy. Potential inequalities resulting from this shift can be offset through social safety nets….

The time is definitely now!