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Climate Change and the Environment

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:26 pm on 8th February 2005.

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Photo of Desmond Turner Desmond Turner Labour, Brighton, Kemptown 2:26 pm, 8th February 2005

I do not disagree with that. I would not for a moment wish to inhibit the development of wind power. The Government have agreed that the grid has to be rewired and we intend to do that. Yes, that is where the resources are, and we should use them. The Government are already putting resources into wave and tidal technology, through the DTI. I want to see more resources going into it, and I think that they inevitably will.

I agree with Opposition Members' comments about the importance of fiscal measures. We have heard some chat about that today. We need to look carefully at fiscal measures because, in a market economy such as the one that we have to work in, they are the key to driving behaviour and making things work. We have an opportunity, as part of the climate change review, to overhaul those fiscal measures.

The hon. Member for Lewes mentioned the carbon tax. I have long been an advocate of carbon taxation, not simply as a tax being used to take money, but as part of a continuum involving a carbon credit that could be invested in the development of renewables. That has been expanded on by the most recent report from the Science and Technology Committee, which I recommend to hon. Members. Ministers have already read it and I hope that they will look at it again as part of the climate change review.

The main message is that there are many things that we can and absolutely must do. We must do them together because we cannot afford to waste time squabbling unnecessarily. We must agree that, for the sake of the future of the human race, we have to act quickly and with determination. Even if it costs a bit now, the payback in the years to come will be well worth it.