14 July 2022
Caroline Lucas, the round-headed rampion champion, led a Backbench Business debate on the Convention on Biological Diversity’s upcoming COP15 – the first ever time COP15 has been raised in a parliamentary debate. Cross-party MPs banded together to share their passion for nature, emphasise the importance of COP15, and call for the Prime Minister to attend the conference and leverage the UK’s international influence to ensure COP15 becomes nature’s ‘Paris moment’.
Species Champions Chris Grayling (hedgehog), Olivia Blake (hen harrier), Hilary Benn (water vole), and Kerry McCarthy (swift) joined Caroline in speaking up for nature and their species in the debate. Together, throughout the debate, over 30 species received mentions; setting the record for the most species named in a House of Commons debate.
The new DEFRA Minister, Steve Double, confirmed that the Conservative Party are committed to COP15 and it is a high priority for them. Against the backdrop of the Conservative Party leadership contest, Minister Double could not speak on behalf of a future Prime Minister who has not been selected yet but confirmed that he wants the Prime Minister to attend and he guarantees a senior level representation will be at the summit.