Jerome is one of four new Sustainable Agriculture Champions, part of the Conservative Environment Network's Net Zero Champions initiative.
His role will be to help accelerate action on climate change in Parliament. He will be working with a team of 24 other MPs to promote a range of technological and natural solutions to climate change, to ensure the UK creates more green jobs as part of the post-Covid economic recovery.
In June 2019 the UK was the first major economy to set a legally binding target to reach net zero emissions by 2050, following a Parliamentary campaign led by CEN MPs. Since then, the Government has announced a number of new world-leading climate policies, such as the commitment to end financial support for fossil fuel projects abroad and a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. The Government last November launched a 10 point plan for a green industrial revolution, backed by £12 billion of public funding, which aims to create up to 250,000 new jobs in industries of the future like hydrogen and carbon capture.
However, in their latest progress report to Parliament, the independent Climate Change Committee outlined multiple areas where policy gaps remain in order to get the UK on track to net zero. The CEN Net Zero Champions will be campaigning for policies to close those remaining gaps ahead of COP26 UN Climate Summit, which the UK is hosting in Glasgow in November. The Government is due to publish a comprehensive net zero strategy ahead of the summit, which will set out a pathway towards the long-term net zero goal.
As a Sustainable Agriculture Champion, Jerome will be campaigning on:
- delivering an environmentally ambitious Environmental Land Management scheme, which is a major part of the new system of agricultural payments established through the Agriculture Act to replace the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, to make sure it incentivises more climate-friendly farming practices and better soil management;
- reforming food labelling to promote better environmental outcomes, which could include providing more information on climate impacts and better clarity on ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates to reduce unnecessary food waste;
- supporting the growing consumer preference to ‘buy local’, by helping to develop local supply chains to support farmers to sell direct to local people;
- establishing a voluntary Farmland Carbon Code to enable more businesses to offset their emissions by paying farmers to store more carbon in their soils, trees, and hedgerows.
Sam Hall, Director of CEN, said:
We’re delighted that Jerome is going to be a champion for sustainable agriculture inside Parliament. He is a tireless advocate for green jobs and for ambitious climate action in Westminster and in Broadland. Tackling climate change is so important not only because it helps reduce the risks of flooding and heatwaves, but also because it will create jobs in the industries of the future, and make our towns and countryside more pleasant places to live with cleaner air and more access to nature. Our champions will be working together in Westminster to drive action on climate change and to propose new policies to ensure we hand on a greener world to the next generation.
Agriculture and food production are a vital part of Broadland's economy. Now that we've left the EU, we have the freedom to adopt more low-carbon and nature-friendly practices, and to encourage and incentivise farmers to innovate and adopt new technologies. I look forward to working with my fellow champions to propose ideas and solutions which will support our farmers in looking after our countryside and ensure consumers continue to have access to sustainable, healthy food.
You can find out more about the Conservative Environment Network and the champions initiative here: www.cen.uk.com/net-zero-champions.