Philip Dunne elected as EAC Chair

Philip Dunne, Conservative MP for Ludlow, has been elected as the new Chair of Parliament’s Environment Audit Committee (EAC) – a group of cross-party MPs elected to scrutinise the environmental impact of government policies.

Philip Dunne MP

Dunne was voted in as Chair ahead of Matthew Offord MP yesterday (29 January) and replaces Mary Creagh, who lost her Wakefield seat in the 2019 general election. Creagh had held the role of Chair since 2016, recently leading the EAC in its criticism of the government’s Environment Bill by calling into question the independence of the proposed Office for Environmental Protection.

Read more: What is the Environmental Audit Committee?

Having previously worked on his family farm in Herefordshire, Dunne was first elected as MP for the Ludlow constituency in Shropshire in 2005, and joined the EAC two years ago, after serving as Minister of State for Health and Minister for Defence Procurement.

According to his candidate statement, Dunne led the EAC’s investigation into hand car washes, which pollute watercourses, and raised adaptation for climate change through better NHS preparedness for heatwaves, more transparency to encourage Green Finance and greening of UK export finance.

Dunne commented: “We face a pressing climate emergency. The public quite rightly expect the government to address the challenges we face right now. This is a huge agenda, which will be one of the defining policy areas of this Parliament.

“I profoundly believe we have an obligation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it.

“The coming task is significant. I would work collaboratively with colleagues to encourage individual interests of members. A focus would not just be on problems, but on solutions: seeing how British innovators in the technologies of tomorrow can build on existing UK world-leading strengths in finance, green energy and engineering.

“We have a huge opportunity to showcase our international leadership at the 2020 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November. I hope the EAC can push the agenda for the government, local authorities, and local communities to lead the way internationally to commit to action on climate change and help the UK become one of the first countries to reach net-zero emissions.”

Following his election, Dunne added: “I am delighted to be appointed Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, and I would like to thank my colleagues for their support. Following on from the high-profile work of the previous Committee, I look forward to building on our successes and continuing to have far-reaching impact in our future work programme once the Committee is established. With the spotlight on our environmental footprint, there is no better time to be considering how government and organisations can work effectively to protect our precious natural environment.” 

More information on the EAC can be found on the Parliament website.

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