Climate Change Bill [HL]
Baroness Carnegy of Lour (Conservative)
My Lords, I have a question relating to government Amendment No. 14, although I think that it also relates to other matters we have discussed. Under Amendment No. 14, if the Secretary of State does not agree with what the committee has recommended and proposes something different, he has to,
"publish a statement setting out the reasons for that decision".
Under the present arrangements that Secretary of State is presumably the Defra Secretary of State. This is a matter for the Westminster Parliament; it is not a matter for the devolved Administrations. At later points in the Bill—my noble friend the Duke of Montrose and I have tabled an amendment to that—the devolved bodies are specifically given duties. But this is simply a matter of the Secretary of State responding on behalf of the United Kingdom.
In this case, it seems to me that the difference between what the committee is recommending and what the Secretary of State says might well affect a great many matters devolved to, say, the Scots Parliament; for example, matters of planning and transport—different matters through which the change might be implemented. How will the Secretary of State ensure that he is carrying the whole country with him when many of the functions that will be affected are devolved? I may be asking a legitimate question; perhaps I should know this. In trying to picture how this will work I see that there could be problems in Scotland. The Scots Parliament disagrees on a lot of environmental issues and other matters with the United Kingdom Government. There could be problems. Will the Minister explain how it will work?