Departmental Travel

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Deputy Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 7th March 2007.

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Photo of John Prescott John Prescott Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee 11:30 am, 7th March 2007

By definition, using the available technology leads to a reduction in carbon emissions. It might shock the House to know that I have it in my office. I use that technology from time to time, but there are times when face-to-face meetings are needed, which means travel. Indeed, I understand that the Leader of the Opposition has travelled to Europe to discuss climate change and other matters. In reality, although a lot of fuss is made about this, air travel is necessary in the global world.

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Bruce Heagerty
Posted on 8 Mar 2007 12:38 pm (Report this annotation)

Is it necessary or is it an unnecessary luxury that we feel we can't do without because we've had it for so long, like smoking in pubs, perhaps? Surely we should extricate ourselves from this perceived necessity ASAP now that we have become aware how damaging it is.
I agree with Mr. Bayley that the government should be leading the way in utilising video conferencing as much as possible (which ought to be always) rather than travbelling all over the place. This would save the taxpayers environment, money and the politician's travel time: three birds with one stone!

Due to the government's (and the previous government's) neglect with regards to Climate Change, the time is here when we should be thinking of politician's and businessmen's juants abroad as "jollies" to be frowned at as unnecessary and wasteful in every way.


Bruce Heagerty

Daniel Frisby
Posted on 8 Mar 2007 1:11 pm (Report this annotation)

I agree wholeheartedly with Bruce.

At a time when we should be using technology to help us curb our emissions this technology has been brushed off. But, oh they'll say, efficiency of aircrafts will increase dramatically in the future. I'm sorry, but I don't believe putting a jet engine in the sky will ever become environmentally friendly. This is hypocrisy, along with the so called environmentalists who go to Australia to rally against global warming or Asia to put up a hut.

I don't believe the Government have any intention in tackling the ever increasing number of flights taken in this country and its effect on CO2 emissions. In fact, at a time where they are proposing to reduce CO2 emissions by 60%, they still wish to expand airports, this just seems slightly ludicrous. Have they not learned from the past, the major expansion of the motorway and trunk road network resulted in the major growth of car use. You give a supply and demand will rise right up to meet it, how does this help in anyway to reduce CO2 emissions.