Matt Hancock – 2022 Comments on the Convention on Biodiversity COP15

The comments made by Matt Hancock, the Independent MP for West Suffolk, in the House of Commons on 19 December 2022.

Matt Hancock (West Suffolk) (Ind)

Will the Secretary of State say a few words about the need not only to stop the diminution across the world of biodiversity, but, ultimately, to get to a place where the expansion of nature can once again happen? That is a long way off. But is it not true that UK Government leadership on this issue has just delivered a major landmark step forward and we should all, across this House, be proud of the effort the team has put in, in order to make as much progress as this? In the international arena it is hard to get big agreements, and the Secretary of State has just got one.

Dr Coffey

I thank my right hon. Friend for that. We both represent the magnificent county of Suffolk, which is why we are trying to make sure we continue that improvement of nature. I believe he is a champion for dormice and I am a champion for bitterns, and we have seen improvements in the habitats for both animals. On a long-term situation such as the environment, it is crucial that the House comes together to recognise the importance of what has been achieved and give credit, particularly to our civil servants, for that achievement. We also need to recognise the challenges ahead for Governments, local councils and industry, and for individual choices that people make, in what we are trying to do to not only protect, but enhance, restore and improve the environment, which we enjoy.