Green connectivity campaign
Since her election in 2017, Julia has campaigned to improve the local transport network in response to residents’ concerns about long traffic jams, poor air quality and delays in and around the M25, Dartford Crossing, Gallows Corner, A127 and A12.
Junction 28 of the M25 is to be upgraded in further good news for road users and residents in Hornchurch & Upminster. The Junction 28 news comes hot on the heels of Transport for London’s confirmation that they will be applying to unlock up to £50 million of central government money that Julia secured for the improvement to the 1970s flyover at Gallows Corner. Julia regularly meets with Lower Thames Crossing to get the latest updates on this vital new river crossing to relieve Dartford congestion and better connect Essex, Kent and East London.
Julia has run parallel campaigns to enhance surrounding green spaces and secure biodiversity net gain - a concept that sees any environmental impact of new infrastructure offset by investment in more trees, wildlife habitats and parklands. Part of these efforts will see a new bridge built over the A127 near Folkes Lane which will give residents south of the A127 improved access to the new community forest at Hole Farm.
Julia is now campaigning to get local green spaces linked so that we have a seamless network of woodlands, bridleways, and parks as a lasting legacy for everyone to enjoy and benefit from. The announcement that 8,000 trees will be planted as mitigation works for the Junction 28 improvements is an example of a lasting environmental legacy.
The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) was hosted in Glasgow on 1-12 November 2021, in partnership with Italy. The Government is committed to working with all countries and joining up civil societies, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire climate action.
By uniting behind a green recovery from coronavirus, countries can build back better by creating sustainable jobs and address the linked challenges of public health, climate change and biodiversity loss.
When the UK took on the COP26 Presidency, in partnership with Italy, only 30 per cent of the world was covered by net zero targets. That figure is now at around 90 per cent, including over 136 countries.
The Glasgow Climate Pact, agreed at COP26, calls on countries to accelerate efforts towards the phase down of unabated coal power and phase out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, while providing targeted support to the poorest and most vulnerable in line with national circumstances and recognising the need for support towards a just transition.
At COP26, 141 global leaders, representing over 90 per cent of the world’s forests, signed the Glasgow Leaders Declaration to work collectively to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation.
The Chancellor announced in the 2021 Budget that Thames will be the site of a new freeport, a specialised economic zone with different rules to make it easier and cheaper to do business.
The Thames freeport will be a joint venture between London Gateway and Tilbury Ports with Ford in Dagenham. It will be an automotive hub, focussed on developing electric and autonomous vehicles.
Not only will this bring jobs and investment into the region, it reflects the transition from petrol and diesel cars to hybrid, electric and autonomous vehicles. The Government plans to bring forward to 2030 the date at which sales of new petrol and diesel cars will end, as part of the drive to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Thames Chase and reforestation
The Thames Chase Trust, which covers East London and South West Essex, has been designated one of ten community forests in the country to receive funding from the Government’s Trees for Climate scheme.
Trees for Climate will see trees planted in community forests across the country over the next few months. Over 500 hectares will be planted with trees across ten community forests, backed by £12.1 million of investment, the Government announced in December 2020.
When mature, the trees will eventually store over 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, playing an important role in meeting net-zero by 2050.
Projects such as these also reduce flood risk, increase sustainable UK grown timber, provide more places for nature and biodiversity to thrive, and increase people’s access to and enjoyment of woodland. Trees for Climate will deliver against goals in the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and support Nature Recovery Networks throughout the country.
Building upon the Government’s determination, the £640 million Nature for Climate fund will help deliver the English portion of the government’s manifesto commitment to increase tree-planting to 30,000 hectares per year across the UK by 2025, alongside peatland restoration.
To find out more about Thames Chase and how to get involved, see - http://www.thameschase.org.uk/
Green Industrial Revolution
As part of its ambition to build back better, the Government looks to seize the post-pandemic era to support sustainable and green jobs and accelerate the country’s path to net zero.
Britain will lead the world into a new Green Industrial Strategy and the Prime Minister has outlined the following ten-point plan on the Government’s priorities and foci:
- Advancing offshore wind
- Driving the growth of low carbon hydrogen
- Delivering new and advanced nuclear power
- Accelerating the shit to zero emission vehicles
- Green public transport, cycling and walking
- Jet zero and green ships
- Greener buildings
- Investing in carbon capture, usage and storage
- Protecting our natural environment
- Green finance and innovation
For the full plan, please see - https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/936567/10_POINT_PLAN_BOOKLET.pdf