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Climate Change and the Environment

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:42 pm on 8th February 2005.

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Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker Liberal Democrat, Lewes 12:42 pm, 8th February 2005

That is a good point, which demonstrates how impossible it is to cover the whole range of issues in a speech such as this, especially as I do not want to take any more time from the other Members who want to speak.

The Government must make more progress on transport, where there has been a big increase in emissions which is out of control. Road traffic will grow by about 25 per cent. over this decade alone. Public transport fares are rocketing. The cost of travelling by rail has gone up by 84 per cent. since 1974 and is about to increase again; the cost of travelling by bus has grown by 71 per cent., while the cost of motoring has gone down. We have the aviation problems to which Mr. Thomas rightly referred earlier and they, too, need to be tackled. Stephen Tindale of Greenpeace has said that the Government have failed and that they seem to have given up on controlling emissions from transport. That is a big problem and the Government must sort it out. They must also ensure that their energy White Paper, which contains many good ideas, is brought to fruition.

The motion sets out the absolute importance of the need to take urgent action on the serious threat facing the planet from climate change. It recognises the need to engage the US and developing countries, and calls on the Government to ensure that that is a key priority. I hope very much that the House will support the motion.