THIS week, Beaconsfield MP Dominic Grieve writes exclusively to Bucks Free Press readers:

In June, the announcement of the aim to end the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050 was followed within a week by the opening of the latest consultation on the proposed expansion at Heathrow Airport.

This sets up an interesting juxtaposition, because the Heathrow proposals are divided into four phases, with the fourth phase planned for “2050 +”.

The UK’s aim is to eradicate its net contribution to climate change by 2050.

That would make this country the first major economy to set net zero emissions in law – the first of the G7 group of countries to do so.

The draft legislation, amending the Climate Change Act of 2008, has already been laid before Parliament.

There’s also a provision that the UK should review the progress on this, five years from now.

As part of that review, the UK would assess whether other countries are taking “similarly ambitious action”.

That review would take place in 2024 and the first phase of expansion at Heathrow would be set to begin around 2026.

Phase two would begin in 2030 and phase three in 2035.

The announcement on the UK’s zero emissions target was accompanied by a warning about the impact of poor air quality on people’s health which in turn has an effect upon the way the economy functions.

The public consultation on the Heathrow proposals began on June 18 and runs to September 13.

Individuals can give their views on managing the environmental impacts of airport expansion, as well as about the physical layout, infrastructure and road access, a Heathrow Ultra Low Emissions Zone and about the scheduling of night flights.

There will be several public consultation events locally: at Gerrards Cross on Tuesday, July 16, Beaconsfield on Thursday, August 1, and Richings Park on Thursday, August 22.