In January 2010 he announced that he would be standing down as an MP at the next general election.
In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Peter Ainsworth voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 20 weeks against scientific and medical consensus which is currently 24 weeks. After four separate parliamentary votes on varying time limits, the majority of MPs voted to keep the abortion time limit at 24 weeks, in keeping with scientific and medical consensus, hence no abortion amendments were added to the bill.
In 2006, MPs were asked three questions by the Rough Guide's Mark Ellingham on how seriously they took climate change as politicians and as responsible, active citizens. Peter Ainsworth replied:
- "1: It is the greatest challenge facing our generation.
- 2: We must start by cutting our own emissions. A Climate Change Bill would help this. We need Government to lead by example, cutting its own energy use, converting to renewable energy sources, and using its enormous buying power to foster non-polluting technologies. Then we need long-term policies to create a framework for a shift to a low carbon economy. Only once we have put our own house in order, will we have the moral authority to lead an international effort to achieve a fair, robust, global system for tackling climate change. In the end, hard though it will be to secure, there must be a global agreement.
- 3: I have committed to cutting personal carbon emissions by 25% over 5 years; reducing car use, installing energy efficient light bulbs and other low carbon products, avoiding flying, switching off electrical appliances when not in use, converting to a renewable electricity supplier, recycling and composting waste."
In November 2006, Ainsworth proposed Early Day Motion 58: Climate Change. The motion stated:
- That this House believes that climate change is a serious environmental, economic and social challenge which requires urgent action; believes that the United Kingdom's ability to take a global lead on the issue is compromised by the fact that domestic emissions of carbon dioxide have been rising; therefore urges the Government to introduce a Climate Change Bill to establish an independent commission to monitor the scientific evidence and set annual rolling targets towards cutting carbon emissions by at least 60 per cent. by 2050; and further believes that the Bill should require the Government to report to both Houses of Parliament each year on progress seeking their approval for any additional measures needed to combat climate change.
Genetically Modified Crops
In December 2008, Peter Ainsworth proposed Early Day Motion 72: Genetically Modified Crops. The motion stated:
- That this House understands the public concern caused by the development of genetically modified organisms; believes that consumers have the right to choose non-GM foods and that all foods containing GM material should be clearly labelled as such; further notes that it is scientifically established that the presence of GM can be traced down to, or close to 0.1 per cent. and believes that this should be the trigger point for GM labelling; and calls on the Government to ban any commercial planting of GM crops until or unless science shows that this would be safe for people and the environment, and until or unless issues of liability and crop segregation are resolved.
The wording seems to have been based on the November 2006 EDM 48: Genetically Modified Crops which Ainsworth seconded.