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September 2020
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New era begins for cross-party environment group

Anthony Browne MP

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Environment is ushering in a new era today, bringing in a new secretariat and an ambitious calendar of events ahead of the 2021 ‘Super Year’ for the environment. Led by a new cross-party committee chaired by Anthony Browne MP, the APPG is relaunching with Green Alliance taking the reins as secretariat.

Founded in 1979, Green Alliance has a uniquely close working relationship with a wide network of NGOs and parliamentarians, including founding the Greener UK coalition in 2016 to defend and strengthen environmental protections as the UK renegotiates its relationship with the EU. Robin Bines and Adrian Wilkes, who have managed the group for over 27 years, are due to retire at the end of September. Plans are already in place to ensure MPs from all parties are best informed as they look to support, scrutinise and challenge the upcoming government programme of legislation, such as the new Energy White Paper and the National Tree Strategy.

Kicking off the APPG’s schedule of events is former Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who will address parliamentarians on the need for a green economic recovery in the aftermath of COVID-19 at a virtual event later today (Tuesday 15 September). He is expected to discuss what global governments can do to ensure that the post-Covid economic recovery accelerates progress towards the Paris climate goals, and what can be expected of the postponed COP26 climate summit, which takes place in Glasgow in November next year.

Anthony Browne, Chair of the APPG on the Environment, and former environment editor of the Observer and Times newspapers, said: “We have a moral duty to pass on a sustainable world to future generations. I am determined to raise the profile and understanding of environmental issues across the House of Commons and House of Lords, as well as more widely across government and policy-making circles. Relaunching the APPG, fuelled by the impressive expertise of Green Alliance, is a key way of doing that. Their long history working with NGOs and legislators, as well as their politically-neutral evidence-based approach, will be essential as we look to ensure environmental priorities are at the heart of government policy.”

He continued: “I want to thank Robin and Adrian for the many years of service they have given both the APPG and its cause. They have achieved a great deal in pushing the group to influence public policy and debate on the environment and laid the groundwork for a bright future ahead.” 

Chris Venables, Head of Politics at Green Alliance, and staff lead for the APPG Environment, said, “We’re really excited to be taking the reins of this all-party environment group. It has an impressive history of driving forward action on the nature and climate crises, and with so much at stake in this most crucial of decades, we believe it’s vital that parliamentarians collaborate across party divides. There is no area of environmental policy in which increased scrutiny and calls for greater ambition from MPs and peers would be unwelcome – so that is our goal – and we’re excited to work with the officers and members to achieve it.”

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