Earth Day 2021: Boris Johnson leads climate calls as MPs come together to make pledges to save the planet
22nd April 2021

BORIS Johnson will today warn US President Joe Biden and other leaders they must slash emissions this decade or be remembered as the people who failed the planet.

The PM will urge them to match the UK's target of net zero by 2050 at the President's major climate summit this afternoon.

Speaking on Earth Day, he will say: "The UK has shown it's possible to slash emissions while growing the economy. If we want to stop climate change, then this must be the year."

It comes as MPs from across the political spectrum have today come together to vow new green goals to help save the planet.

To celebrate Earth Day with an international day of action, Britain's politicians have vowed to go even greener to combat the climate emergency.

Later today the US President will host a huge international summit online to address world leaders and call on them to do more to save the world before it's too late.

He and the PM will push others to match the UK's ambitious climate targets, vowing to get to net zero by 2050.

And yesterday he pledged to go even further by cutting emissions to 78 per cent by 2035, too.

The world mustn't fail to act now or our children and grandchildren will never forgive us, he will say.

The Sun has spoken to MPs from across the House of Commons to find out how they are planning to mark the day – with vows to go even further to save our precious planet.

George Eustice – Environment Secretary and MP for Camborne and Redruth

"This Earth Day, I’m pledging to lighten my footprint on the planet by significantly reducing my ‘food miles’ and ensuring my meals for the next month are based on seasonal, local produce.

“We’re rightly proud of our outstanding food and drink and I want people, both at home and abroad, to be lining up to buy British.

"But I want to go further by committing to a greater proportion of my meals coming from even closer to home, simultaneously helping to reduce my carbon footprint, too.

"Let’s enjoy more of the amazing offerings we’re so fortunate to have right on our doorsteps."

Luke Pollard – Labour's shadow environment secretary, and MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport

"We are not just in a climate emergency, but a nature emergency as well. That's why this Earth Day, I am pledging to not only do more to cut carbon, but also to protect our wildlife.

"I'm going to put more bird boxes up in my garden, plant more wildflowers for our bees and install another water butt to save using the tap."

Alok Sharma – President of COP26, the climate summit being hosted by Britain this November

"I recently decided to cut out meat following my younger daughter’s lead.

"That’s not for everyone, but even small changes in the way we go about our day to day lives can make a difference in cutting our carbon emissions."

Ian Blackford – SNP Westminster leader and MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber

"For many people, the Covid pandemic has shown us just how much we value nature, and Earth Day provides a reminder to do what we can to help protect the environment and live more sustainably.

"I will walk in London when I can over other methods of transport and cycle more at home on the Isle of Skye."

Zac Goldsmith – International Environment Minister

"Trees and woodlands are a solution to a whole range of problems – from helping to reverse biodiversity loss to tackling climate change, from flood prevention to tackling pollution.

"So this year I am pledging to plant 50 new trees.

“Government is committed to establishing trees on 30,000 hectares per year by 2025, and I encourage everyone to get involved with a tree planting scheme local to them.”

Damian Green – MP for Ashford and formerly Theresa May's deputy

"This year has shown us more than ever the impact of our actions on the health of the planet.

"I will pledge to shun single-use disposable coffee cups in future and actively seek ones which can be recycled or washed up, once Covid restrictions are lifted.

“We can all do our bit to help our environment – and every little can help."

Andrea Leadsom – Former Environment Secretary

"As a regular smoothie drinker it's annoyed me in the past how every drink seemed to come with a plastic or paper straw attached.

"This year I pledge to keep my own colourful metal straws ready for a drink, where-ever I am, to save lots of them from going in the bin."

Caroline Lucas – Green MP for Brighton Pavilion

“Protecting our planet is about so much more than individual pledges, it's about systems change which would make it easier for everyone to play a part.

"But starting closer to home, I'm going to ask every garden centre in Brighton to stop selling peat-based compost so we can protect precious peatlands which are the world's largest store of carbon."

Barry Gardiner – Former shadow energy secretary and Labour MP for Brent North

"What a good idea to challenge all of us who talk about the climate crisis to actually make a difference in our own lives.

"You really put me on the spot to think of something new. I already dug up the concrete in front of my house and turned it into a garden, I drive a hybrid, eat veggie half the week and compost my waste but I realise I don’t have a smart meter to reduce my energy use.

"So thanks for prompting me. I look forward to lower energy bills and a greener planet."

Neil Parish – Chair of the Environment Committee and Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton

"To mark Earth Day this year, I will be focussing my efforts on tackling plastics and planting more trees – and I am pledging to personally plant at least 50 new trees on my farm.

"I am eager to see ‘smart’ tree-planting, which means ensuring that the right trees are planted in the right places. If done correctly, tree-planting can have myriad environmental benefits.

"As a result of COVID-19, we have seen a rise in single-use plastics, due to the use of millions of test kits, face masks, and other medical materials.

"We now need more than ever to refocus on tackling plastics as we recover from the pandemic."

Rebecca Pow – Domestic Environment Minister and MP for Taunton Deane

“I’m pledging to make space for nature in my own garden by sowing an area of wildflowers.

"Along with so many other people I have found that gardening and engaging with nature has offered a real escape during lockdown; I’ve watched the bees and other pollinations at work pollinating fruits, flowers and veg and want to provide an additional source of nectar for these crucial creatures so I’m sowing a mini wildflower area."

Guy Opperman – Pensions minister and Conservative MP for Hexham

“I am going to try and go plastic free for a month, both to make a difference and understand the extent of the problem which faces us all.

"I hope it also means I will be shopping local and with independents far more than going to a supermarket. I will also continue to avoid Amazon – I have bought nothing through them in 2021 and will try to keep it going!”

Darren Jones – Labour MP for Bristol North West and Business Select Committee chair

“We’re blessed with lots of green spaces in Bristol North West but have many areas that can be “reforested”. This is great for the natural environment but also for residents. My pledge is to help this great campaign by planting trees in urban tiny forests.

“And I call on readers today to look at how they can plant trees in their own communities too to help the planet this Earth Day."

Alan Brown, SNP MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun and shadow spokesperson for energy and climate change

“I pledge to get the train as often as is practicable for travel purposes instead of flying when commuting to London.

“Also, before the pandemic when I was working from the constituency office, I was getting the bus in and out of Kilmarnock instead of driving.

"This is something I will do again once it is safe to work from the office.”

Philip Dunne – Conservative MP for Ludlow and Chair of the environmental Audit Committee

"Last year, our e-waste report exposed that there are enough unused cables gathering dust in UK households to go around the world five times.

"Not only are hoarded electricals often made with raw materials that are running out and crucial for low-carbon energy, millions of tonnes of CO2 could be saved if items are disposed of properly.

"That is why, this Earth Day, I pledge to rummage through drawers to rescue old cables for reuse or recycling."

Join The Sun’s ‘Green Team’ & save the planet

MAKING simple everyday changes can add up to a BIG difference to the planet.

And we want you and your family to join The Sun's Green Team – our eco revolution. 

It can feel overwhelming to know how to play a part in reducing greenhouse gasses, but we will be showing you the practical steps we can take to curb climate change – with the help of the global ‘Count Us In’ initiative.

And our easy measures will even help you SAVE money so your household budget goes further.

We'll help you to reduce food waste, insulate your home, create tasty planet-friendly meals and take simple steps to trim your carbon footprint.

We want you to go online to sign-up to as many of our special Green Team pledges as you can manage and a special calculator will show you how much carbon you will personally save.

It won’t cost you a penny but the total you and your family will save will be added to the global ‘Count Us In’ total and the platform will support you every step of the way. 

So tap here to pledge.

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