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Climate Change and the Environment

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:17 pm on 8th February 2005.

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Photo of Margaret Beckett Margaret Beckett The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 1:17 pm, 8th February 2005

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that clarification. I am sure that everyone in the House shares his view on the need for such technological engagement. Indeed, we welcome the focus that the present American Administration have put on research and technology. We must avoid the trap of depicting policy frameworks and technology development as not only alternative, but mutually exclusive, ways of tackling climate change. We take the view that both are essential. In the absence of mandatory policies at federal level, we welcome the fact that several American states are increasingly putting their own innovative policies in place. We are co-operating with those who wish to learn from the UK and EU experience.

The Government have consistently sought to provide leadership on climate change. We have done that through our leading role in the negotiations at Kyoto, Bonn and Marrakech, through our ambitious national targets—our 12.5 per cent. Kyoto commitment, our 20 per cent. nationally set carbon dioxide goal for 2010, and our longer-term 60 per cent. objective for 2050—and through our ground-breaking programmes of national action to deliver them.