Afzal Khan MP stands in front of In Our Nature reduce waste wheel
Afzal Khan MP stands in front of In Our Nature reduce waste wheel

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.

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.

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.

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.

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