Recently appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Kerry McCarty, has said that the UK’s continued membership in the European Union (EU) is “vital” for environmental issues such as the development of the circular economy.
In a speech to Labour Party conference delegates today (29 September), McCarthy highlighted her environmental priorities, which included the how the UK’s membership of the EU affects issues such as environmental protection, air pollution, the circular economy and food and farming.
She said the country’s continued membership of the European Union is “vital” on all these issues and more.
Kerry McCarthy – “We achieve so much more by co-operation than by acting alone”
“We achieve so much more by co-operation than by acting alone,” she said.
She also criticised David Cameron for previously appointing Owen Paterson to the role of Environment Secretary; a man who she said “complained that our planet isn’t warming fast enough and thinks climate change could be a good thing.”
Former Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, was axed from the Defra post in 2014 after less than two years. He later hit out at environmental groups, describing them as the “Green Blob”.
McCarthy then went on to slam recent Government decisions, including what she described as “a shabby attempt to bring back fox hunting by the back door” and their “broken promise” not to allow fracking in water protection zones and sites of special scientific interest.
“And, while people are going hungry, a third of the food we produce is wasted. Edible food, just thrown away,” she said on the issue of food waste and security.
The Bristol East MP recently introduced the Food Waste Reduction Bill, which aims to ensure that more of the “obscene” amounts of food needlessly wasted through the food industry supply chains – from production through to retail – is prevented or available to charities, for redistribution to people living in food poverty.
This Bill aims to address the “shocking and unsustainable” levels of industry food waste and will get a second reading after receiving cross-party support.