July has been another very busy month surrounding the issue of climate change, the environment, and nature.
We have seen some of the hottest and driest temperatures ever in the UK this month – highlighting the need for urgent climate action. I am pleased I am able to support the work of organisations doing such important work to protect our planet.
Earlier this month, I met with Fields in Trust to discuss parks and green spaces in Manchester. In Gorton, our Green Space Index (GSI) score is .56, where the goal is a 1 to ensure that all communities have access to outdoor space. We discussed how protecting green space can increase this score, as well as how the national and local government can work together to achieve this goal. I am looking forward to continuing working with Fields in Trust to keep our parks and green spaces accessible for all communities.
I also attended the Westminster Climate Solutions Fair. This Fair was hosted by The Climate Coalition, a group who work with organisations and charities focused on climate action. The Fair was organised by dividing climate solutions in three areas: for climate, for people, and for nature. I had the opportunity to see the great work so many organisations are doing across the UK and learn more about how Parliamentarians can support their efforts.
I had the opportunity to learn even more about what solutions can be done in this dire environmental situation we are in.
We all have a responsibility to do more for the environment. pic.twitter.com/LZU9KYrzSO
— Afzal Khan MP (@Afzal4Gorton) July 8, 2022
In May, Greenpeace UK hosted the Big Plastic Count where households in every constituency participated in counting all their plastic waste during a week. This month, the shocking results were published and Greenpeace found that close to 100 million pieces of single use plastic are disposed of annually in the UK. Unfortunately, most of this waste is not recycled, with the majority going into landfills, being sent abroad, or even burned. I support calls to introduce a plastic-waste target and decrease not just our recycling in the UK, but overall the amount of single-use plastic used more widely.
♻️I joined the #bigplasticcount with 98,000 other households
🗑️It was eye opening to see that in just one week, I used 31 bits of plastic
😯It's estimated 96.6 billion pieces of plastic are thrown out annually in the UK
🌍We must reduce our plastic waste to protect our planet pic.twitter.com/FAHN0Upbc5
— Afzal Khan MP (@Afzal4Gorton) July 14, 2022
The Clean the Air event hosted by Asthma & Lung UK highlighted the need for better air pollution targets which will reduce the overall air pollution and low air quality we see in cities across the UK. Air pollution is a serious concern, particularly as asthma is a leading health issue for children. I look forward to supporting targets to decrease our air pollution.
I joined the @asthmalunguk Clean The Air event to learn about what impact air pollution has on us.
Asthma is the most common long term health condition for children in the UK.
The Govt must treat air pollution as the urgent public health matter it is. pic.twitter.com/fC5GDgHzGY
— Afzal Khan MP (@Afzal4Gorton) July 19, 2022
Finally, before Parliament broke up for summer recess, I had the opportunity to ask a COP26 Oral Question. It is always helpful to ask Ministers questions on key issues impacting constituents. This time, I focused on the need for the Government to stop providing subsidies for energy companies, and instead support energy to be produced and stored locally. This would increase energy security, cost of energy, and an overall net-zero strategy.
The Tories give an estimated £10bn a year in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. ⛽️🔥
£10bn which should instead go to insulating and retrofitting homes, as well as investing in on-shore wind and solar power 🍃🌞
Listen to my question to the COP26 President today 👇🏾 pic.twitter.com/Hp8qvcTSzs
— Afzal Khan MP (@Afzal4Gorton) July 20, 2022