Mr Malcolm Bruce (Gordon, Liberal Democrat)
The hon. Gentleman makes a characteristically constructive intervention. Our trip to Germany with PRASEG—the all-party group on renewable and sustainable energy—was not wasted. The Germans were almost laughing at us; they told us that 15 years ago Britain was the world leader in wind technology—a position now held by Denmark, followed by Germany, Spain, India and the United States. Nowadays, we are nowhere because we did not support the development of that technology, while other countries had faith that it would deliver results.
It might be a good idea—perhaps the Government would promote it—to get some of our leading companies to form an environmental policy committee that would identify and advance technologies specifically to develop the environmental initiatives that flowed from Rio, and extend them in Johannesburg. I fully appreciate that the technology will have to come from the private companies that drive the research, but there must be a clear framework of understanding of the objectives of the peoples of the world.