Speaking at the CIWEM annual conference in London today (March 21), the Labour MP accused the Coalition of “walking away from its commitments” on water reforms.

In reference to the Water White Paper published last year, Shuker said he was concerned by its “lack of urgency” and said ministers needed to be bolder in their approach if they were to start mitigating the climate change impacts of water usage.

“The sewage and water industry has a significant role to play in reducing carbon,” he told delegates, adding that the industry was responsible for more than 1% of the UK’s total carbon emissions.

However Shuker argued that the White Paper contained “no realisation that climate is a big factor in emissions of the industry” and said Defra needed to show political leadership by following the example of BIS’s roadmap for decarbonising the motor industry.

“Government should be stimulating debate about how the water and sewerage sectors can reduce their emissions and play their part in mitigating climate change in a sustainable way,” he said.

Shuker added that measures needed to be taken to level the playing field to ensure water companies were properly incentivised and supported to reduce their carbon.

Maxine Perella

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