Climate Change is a serious and pressing concern. I know that many residents of North East Hertfordshire care deeply about the environment. I am a committed member of the Conservative Environment Network and played a part in producing their Manifesto which can be found here. On this page you will find things I have done to promote the fight against Climate Change.
24 February 2023
I have received notification that East Herts Council have received a grant of £126,406 from Defra’s Air Quality Grant Scheme. This will enable them to purchase air quality monitors to improve data for pollution in Air Quality Management Areas, development of a social media campaign for these areas to improve knowledge about air quality and encourage reduced car use through car sharing and active travel, engagement and raising awareness in local schools to reduce idling and encourage active travel and creation of travel plans for local businesses.
18 December 2022
I have received the attached 'Dear Colleague' from the Rt Hon Therese Coffey MP at Defra regarding Final Environmental Targets under the Environment Act 2021
26 September 2022
I spoke at the CEN Reception for European legislators concerned about Climate and Security and met representatives from parliaments and civil society across Europe.
I highlighted the increasing influence of Conservatives on environmental issues and attaining Net Zero.
6 September 2022
I have received the attached letter from Victoria Prentis MP about the Government's hedgerow policy.
2 March 2022
I was a co-sponsor of the Ban on Bottom Trawling Bill presented by Chris Grayling MP, which was given permission to start its path through Parliament yesterday. This will stop trawling damage to the seabed and plants which store carbon and are important to ecology and fighting Climate Change. I am a Marine Conservation Society Champion.
23 November 2021
I have received the attached Dear Colleague from Grant Shapps regarding Electric Vehicle Charge Points
16 November 2021
The PM's statement to the House on COP26 can be found here -
8 November 2021
North East Herts MP Oliver Heald was a member of the UK delegation to COP26 in Glasgow and was able to greet visiting speakers and attend plenary at the UK desk, where he heard the speeches by Ellie Goulding, Idris Elba, his wife Sabrina and leading politicians including Environment Ministers from around the World and Theresa May, who started the preparations for COP26.
Oliver travelled up to Glasgow (by train) as part of the UK team for Nature Day on Saturday 6th November, where the main topic was how to use nature based solutions to tackle biodiversity loss and climate change.
Oliver attended a number of events in the Presidency British Pavilion including where he was able to greet various panels dealing with nature-based approaches to climate change from planting mangroves in Gambia to grazing cattle in Scottish woodland to replanting coral.
He also attended plenary in the main hall for sessions on sustainable farming - using regenerative agriculture to how best to help small farmers in dry areas of the World. In every session there were fine examples of good practice in the UK from restoring peat bogs to reforesting to restoring salt marshes.
Oliver also attended events held in the French Pavilion and the Chinese Corporate Pavilion, where the National Trust hosted an event for the International Organisation of National Trusts, which has 8 million members. They highlighted a French programme to teach sustainable building and restoration techniques such as the use of lime mortars and washes, the campaign to reduce deforestation in Australia and work on various projects in the UK, as well as protecting Irish peat bogs.
Commenting Oliver said:
“ It was an honour to be selected as a member of the British Delegation to COP 26 and to take part in so many events on Nature Day. Climate Change is an emergency and one we can tackle. It was also good to hear from committed UN Ambassadors on Climate Change such as Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina and also to hear Ellie Goulding, as well as all the leading political figures such as Ministers and experts from around the World and our own Ministers such as Zac Goldsmith and George Eustice MP, DEFRA Secretary of State.
It was marvellous to see the enthusiasm from across the World to tackle climate change and that although nature-based solutions vary from country to country, they all use the tools nature has given to the World to tackle climate change whether it is restoring peat bogs, creating salt marshes or reforesting or planting mangroves and new coral. I left very hopeful of even more positive announcements from this landmark conference. I was also proud that Hertfordshire is taking action through initiatives to increase woodland and protect its habitats, for example at the Hertwood at Sandridge, a Woodland Trust initiative, and through organisations such as Baldock Rotary, our river organisations and the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust. ”
21st October 2021
The Government has published an update on progress on the Environment Bill in the House of Lords. Details can be found in the attached Dear Colleague Letter. This contains a link to the Soil Health Action Plan for England which can also be read here
The Government has also published its Net Zero Strategy. Details can be found in the attached Dear Colleague letter.
11th September 2021
I visited the Letchworth Green Festival which brought together local environmental groups with various events going on throughout the day.
27th July 2021
I was delighted to join the Baldock and Clothall WI litter pick around Baldock on Sunday and to see the great work being done by the volunteers. Many local residents remarked how good it was to see people doing this and it was tremendous to be able to collect 20 sacks of rubbish and recycling. I congratulate the WI on this regular initiative. It is important to keep Britain tidy and Baldock too.
23rd July 2021
UN Climate Change Conference - Glasgow November 2021: Programme of days and events over the course of the 2 weeks can be found at this link
21st July 2021
I spoke at the Bright Blue Conference about carbon emissions and the marine environment.
14th July 2021
Projects to restore kelp forests, create new woodland, deliver natural flood risk management, and improve water quality are among an initial 27 schemes to benefit from a pioneering new fund to drive private investment in nature and tackle climate change, Defra, the Environment Agency & Natural England have announced.
Organisations across England have been awarded up to £100,000 each, as part of the ground-breaking £10 million Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund. A list of the 27 schemes receiving the funding can be found at the bottom of this page.
9th July 2021
I was delighted to visit Thundridge Primary school in the constituency to finish planting an apple tree and to celebrate with the school pupils doing something for nature and our environment.
24th June 2021
Attended Groundswell in Weston which provides a forum for farmers and anyone interested in food production or the environment to learn about the theory and practical applications of Conservation Agriculture or regenerative systems, including no-till, cover crops and re-introducing livestock into the arable rotation, with a view to improving soil health. Joined by Ministers Rebecca Pow and George Eustice.
7th June 2021
I was one of a group of five MPs from the Conservative Environment Network (CEN) Parliamentary Caucus who have written to Lord Deben, Chair of the Climate Change Committee (CCC), requesting the Committee report to Parliament on the feasibility of integrating so-called “blue carbon” into the UK’s carbon accounts.
The letter argues that this will ensure the UK is accurately measuring its impact on the global climate and create further incentives for the Government to better protect and restore our coastal and marine habitats—tackling climate change, recovering wildlife and levelling-up coastal areas.
15th February 2021
Today I signed up to become a nature-based solutions champion, to help accelerate action on climate change in Parliament, as part of the Conservative Environment Network’s new Net Zero Champions initiative. I will be working with 24 other Conservative MPs to promote a range of technological and natural solutions to climate change, to ensure that the UK creates more green jobs as part of the post-Covid economic recovery and further reduces our greenhouse gas emissions.
As a nature-based solutions champion, I will be campaigning on:
● 1) Banning the sale of peat for use in horticulture to better protect UK peatland which covers 12% of the UK’s land area and contains more carbon than the forests of the UK, France and Germany combined;
● 2) Protecting and improving our “blue carbon assets” which are marine habitats that soak up carbon, such as seagrass meadows, and including this carbon sequestration in the UK carbon account to encourage the government to protect and restore them as part of efforts to reach net zero emissions;
● 3) And undertaking a national natural capital audit, to establish a baseline of our natural assets, such as woodlands, wild-flower meadows, and grasslands, and map opportunities for nature-based interventions to ensure we target, for instance, new tree planting in the right places.
12th December 2020
The world must take stronger climate action. As hosts of the UN Climate Summit COP26 and with our world-leading 2030 climate target, the UK can champion a green recovery at today’s Climate Ambition Summit, and safeguard our planet for future generations.
11th November 2020
I have received the attached Dear Colleague letter from Alok Sharma, the Business Secretary, announcing the Government's ten point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.
10th November 2020
I have received the attached Dear Colleague from Rebecca Pow MP at the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs regarding the Environment Bill: Tackling Deforestation
20th October 2020
I have urged Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and COP President, Alok Sharma MP, to continue to prioritise action on climate change ahead of the upcoming UN Climate Summit (COP26), which the UK will host in Glasgow in November 2021.
I wrote to the COP President, Alok Sharma MP, alongside forty-one MPs and Peers, who are members of the Conservative Environment Network Parliamentary Caucus, urging the government to set a stronger national climate target for 2030. 2021 will put Global Britain at the centre of the world stage as we host this major international climate change summit in Glasgow. It is vital that the Government not only works to encourage greater international action on climate change, but demonstrates true leadership by being as ambitious as possible at home. Faster reductions in emissions will spur more investment in the clean technologies of the future and create hundreds of thousands of green-collar jobs across the country. I know that climate change is a serious concern for many of my constituents in North East Hertfordshire which is why I’ve urged the government to ensure that local residents can be part of a national conversation on climate change next year.
10th October 2020
The Prime Minister has announced £160 Million in funding for renewable energy. Attached below is a letter from Alok Sharma, the Business Secretary, laying out the details of the funding.
5th October 2020
Attached below is a letter from my colleague Alok Sharma, the business secretary, about the new Green Homes Grant.
23rd September 2020
I have written to the Chancellor, alongside other Conservative Environment Network members, to call for a Green Recovery ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review and Budget due this autumn in support of several measures to tackle climate change and restore nature as part of a green economic recovery from coronavirus.
22nd September 2020
I attended the last meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Woods and Trees.
2nd September 2020
I am pleased about the Government launching a consultation on 'Due Diligence on forest risk commodities'. This is an issue I have called for to be tackled before. I strongly support this consultation and I hope constituents will respond.
If you would like to respond, click here.
6th July 2020
I am very concerned about reports that Box Wood is being marketed. I have immediately contacted the Leader of East Herts Council asking what powers the Council has to stop attempts to develop the area in any way. I have also contacted Trading Standards about the wording of the adverts
1st July 2020
I have received the attached letter from the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs regarding Chalk Stream extraction.
19th June 2020 - I joined colleagues from the Conservative Environment Network Parliamentary Caucus to write to the Prime Minister in support of a green economic recovery from Covid-19. We would like to see the Government back the green British industries of the future and low-carbon infrastructure projects, such as electric vehicle manufacturing, renewable energy projects, and home energy efficiency retrofits, to bring jobs to all corners of the country whilst also putting the UK on track to meeting its world-leading net zero emissions target.
16th June 2020 - I wrote an article for Politics Home on how the Environment Bill is an excellent opportunity for the UK to adopt world-leading rules to tackle deforestation. You can read the article here.
6th April 2020 - Hertfordshire has a strong mix of woodland, wetland, farmland and urban areas that make up the counties geographical environment. As the science shows, there is an inextricable link between climate change and biodiversity loss. Our special responsibility is to look after and conserve those plants and wildlife that are in abundance within our local area. In North East Hertfordshire, the Pasqueflower, of which the highest population in the United Kingdom is found on Therfield Heath, is one of our special responsibilities. You can see this beautiful flower in bloom, as I do, when taking one brief walk a day across Therfield Heath. Check out the Hertfordshire State of Nature Report.
4 April 2020 - As many of us are at home, my Eco Tip this week is to think about how to make your garden hedgehog friendly. Become a hedgehog Champion with these great tips from hedgehog street.
5th February 2020 - My eco tip this week is to grow your own and shop local. Buying local produce and growing your own veg lowers your carbon footprint. North East Hertfordshire is blessed with a vast amount of great local farm shops, such as Pearce's Farm Shop in Buntingford.
29th January 2020 - Are your tea bags eco-friendly? My eco tip this week is to switch to loose leaf tea when making your perfect brew.
22nd January 2020 - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The three R's are invaluable in helping to tackle climate change and apply to a wide variety of aspects of everyday life. Reduce energy consumption by turning off and unplugging phone chargers. Use Reusable Tupperware for lunch boxes. And Recycle your waste in the correct bins.
15th January 2020 - My eco tip this week is to travel responsibly and use public transport when possible. You'll be helping clean up the air as most toxic fumes come from car exhausts.
8th January 2020 - Happy New Year all! Now is the perfect time to start your greener lifestyle. I have mentioned before (see my Eco Tip from 27th November) giving the red meat a break on the dietary front, so why not take up 'Veganuary'? Or, become more conscious of the packaging you are buying and go plastic free?
18th December 2019 - My eco tip this week is helpful for those participating in a secret Santa, or for that matter anyone purchasing a Christmas gift for someone. Think creatively and instead of opting for bundles of gifts or little stocking fillers get one great gift that everyone will benefit from, including the planet.
11th December 2019 - My eco tip this week is to get yourself a reusable water bottle. Get rid of all this plastic nonsense and get a stainless steal water bottle or container like me!
2nd December 2019 - My eco tip this week is to clean green! Think about the cleaning products you are using in your home. The chemicals used in these products might not be friendly to the environment or yourself when both using and disposing of them. Seek more eco friendly alternatives, allowing both you and the environment to benefit!
27 November 2019 - My eco tip this week is to think about what you are consuming. Switching just one meal to a vegetarian or vegan option can have a substantially positive impact on the environment by reducing your carbon footprint. Get chomping on the veg and legumes and give the red meat a break.
20th November 2019 - My eco tip this week is to think ahead to the Christmas season and to use real Christmas trees rather than plastic ones. Real trees are the more eco-friendly option, but we must also consider carefully where and how these trees are grown!
15th November 2019 - My eco tip this week is to plant a wildflower meadow in your garden to encourage pollination.
7th November 2019 - My eco tip this week is to Download the 'Refill' App and find local water refill stations to cut down on single use plastic water bottles.
30th October 2019 - My eco tip this week is to make sure your central heating settings are not set above 19 degrees. This keeps costs down, saves on energy and if you are feeling chilly you can always put a jumper on!
23rd October 2019 - My eco tip this week is to download my Guide to going Green. This can be found in the attachments section at the bottom of this page.
16th October 2019 - My eco tip this week is to unplug phone chargers when not in use. This saves energy and avoids this 'energy vampire'!
28th September 2019 - This article today in The Times, 'Doctors demand clean air act to stop thousands dying early', shows me as one of the MPs reading The Times Clean Air for All Manifesto. You can read the article and also watch the short video here.
27th September 2019 - You can find the link to yesterday's International Climate Action debate here.
8th September - I met local campaigners attending the Extinction Rebellion event at Westminster.
10th July 2019 - I spoke in the debate on Climate Change. Advocating for measures to reduce carbon emissions from motor vehicles and in the transport sector. Read more from my speech here.
26th June 2019 - I attended the Mass Lobby “The Time is Now” where I met climate campaigners and local representatives from organisations such as WWF, the Wildlife Trust and the WI.