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Crawley MP welcomes Prime Minister’s ‘ambitious’ environmental commitments at G7 summit

Crawley’s Henry Smith MP has said he welcomed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ambitious environmental commitments at the recent G7 summit in France.

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The Prime Minister pledged £10 million to protect and restore the Amazon rainforest which is currently suffering from record numbers of forest fires. He also backed the Crawley MP’s calls for new targets to tackle biodiversity loss and increase marine protections.

The £10 million will be invested through the UK Department for International Development’s Partnerships for Forests programme to support local communities to help protect the Amazon. The Government also pledged to double their commitment to the international Green Climate Fund over the next four years to £1.44 billion, which invests in projects tackling climate change and biodiversity loss.

Henry said;

“The Amazon rainforest produces more than 20 per cent of the world’s oxygen and is home to at least 10 per cent of the known species in the world.

“The damage being done by the forest fires is irreparable, destroying homes and habitats, and releasing smoke, CO2, and toxic levels of carbon monoxide into the atmosphere and surrounding communities.

“So it’s absolutely right that the international community steps up to help and I’m proud that the UK has pledged £10 million to support local efforts to fight these devastating fires.”

The Prime Minister, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, commented;

“The fires ravaging the Amazon rainforest are not only heartbreaking, they are an international crisis.

“We stand ready to provide whatever help we can to bring them under control and help protect one of Earth’s greatest wonders.”

The Prime Minister also backed Henry’s calls for 30 per cent of the world’s oceans to be protected by 2030, and expand the Blue Belt Programme, which is a series of marine protected areas spanning across the UK’s Overseas Territories.

MPs from the Conservative Environment Network Parliamentary Caucus called for additional marine protections in the CEN Manifesto, and met with the previous Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, to discuss funding to extend the Blue Belt marine conservation programme.

Henry added;

“Less than 10 per cent of the world’s oceans are protected, but we know how vital they are for all life on our blue planet. That’s why it’s so important that we increase our ambition and aim for at least 30 per cent of the world’s oceans to be protected by 2030, and I’m delighted that the Prime Minister has called on other countries around the world to support this campaign as well.

“It’s also great news that the Government is investing an additional £7 million to expand the Blue Belt programme in the UK’s Overseas Territories. The territories are home to over 500 threatened species and at least a quarter of the world’s penguins; they need to be protected.”

The Prime Minister has also called for strong international targets to reverse biodiversity loss at the upcoming international summit on the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15).

Henry said;

“We can’t allow our children to grow up in a world without iconic species like giraffes, elephants and tigers. Yet these species are in quick decline, and we must do more to protect them. I will continue to campaign for greater action to conserve these important species, and look forward to seeing the outcome of the upcoming international biodiversity summit in China.”

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Crawley-based Thales add their support to national campaign to find RAF veterans in need

Crawley-based Thales in the UK have given their backing to a national campaign to find RAF veterans in need. Second World War pilot George Dunn DFC spoke to staff earlier this week and explained why the RAF Benevolent Fund’s appeal is so important.

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George Dunn DFC

Ninety-seven-year-old George, who lives near Brighton, told Thales employees about his wartime service, flying with Bomber Command having signed up to the RAF at the tender age of 17. George described one of the most famous operations he took part in – the raid on Peenemunde, which destroyed the Nazis V Bomber capability.

George was joined by RAF Benevolent Fund Ambassadors Bob Greig and Rob Bugden, who are both also RAF veterans. They were representing the charity, which Thales has been a generous supporter of, to ask staff to join its centenary campaign to help RAF veterans.

Bob, who lives in Woking, explained:

“The RAF Benevolent Fund has launched this campaign to mark 100 years of support it has already given to the RAF Family, serving and retired personnel and their families. We’re aiming to double the number of people who receive help, from 53,000 people to 100,000 people and to do that we need the help of companies like Thales in the UK.

“If you know anyone who served in the RAF who may be in need, urge them to get in touch with the RAF Benevolent Fund. They have been there for me in my darkest hour and ever since, and all RAF personnel should know that comfort.” 

Thales in the UK has been a long-term supporter of the Fund, having donated more than £100,000 to date, and also have a representative, Malcolm Crayford, on the Fund’s Centenary Campaign Advisory Board, who commented;

“Over the last 100 years, Thales has enjoyed a long heritage of supporting the Royal Air Force; we have also supported the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. Today, Thales is proud to be supporting a new campaign from the RAF Benevolent Fund to get Royal Air Force veterans in need back on the radar.”

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