Copenhagen Summit

Energy and Climate Change – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 5th November 2009.

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Photo of Lynda Waltho Lynda Waltho Labour, Stourbridge 10:30 am, 5th November 2009

What steps he is taking to promote public awareness of the Copenhagen climate change summit; and if he will make a statement.

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Photo of Joan Ruddock Joan Ruddock Minister of State (Department of Energy and Climate Change)

The decisions made at Copenhagen will affect everybody in the UK and around the world for generations to come. So that everyone in the UK can see what we are arguing for in the negotiations, the Government have published the "Road to Copenhagen" which, for the first time, explains our position to the wider public. We also keep people informed through our website and through advertising.

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Photo of Lynda Waltho Lynda Waltho Labour, Stourbridge

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. In the run-up to Copenhagen, will she confirm her Department's support for low-carbon transport initiatives such as the Parry People Mover, which is a light rail car that runs on the Stourbridge line? It makes an important contribution to the local economy in terms of jobs and green technology. Will she, or the Secretary of State, accept my invitation to come and ride on it?

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Photo of Joan Ruddock Joan Ruddock Minister of State (Department of Energy and Climate Change)

I am very grateful to my hon. Friend for her final offer. I fear that the Secretary of State and I are so preoccupied with the international discussions that we are frequently out of the country, but we will of course try very hard to make a new year resolution to accept her invitation.

I should tell my hon. Friend that we are keeping people informed through the Act on Copenhagen website, to which there have been 80,000 unique visitors. In addition, 60,000 copies of the document have been distributed, including to schools, GP surgeries, libraries and so on. It makes a real difference when people can see local examples of how to move to low carbon, such as the transit system to which she referred-which has, of course, been supported by the Department for Transport. It is through seeing what happens on the ground that people will learn what it is possible to do to meet our low-carbon aims.

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Photo of Peter Lilley Peter Lilley Conservative, Hitchin and Harpenden

Was it wise of the Government to spend £6 million of taxpayers' money on a propaganda film showing a father telling fairy stories to his daughter, particularly when the stories turn out to be alarmist tales of British cities drowned under water? Might not one result of that be that it has put the idea into people's minds that this is all a fairy story, with fewer people in this country giving credence-

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Photo of Joan Ruddock Joan Ruddock Minister of State (Department of Energy and Climate Change)

The right hon. Gentleman is someone who does not accept the science and the consensus around it- [ Interruption. ] That is what he appears to be saying. The people who have expressed concerns about the advertisement tend to be in that category. We are trying to make it clear to adults that the science has a great worldwide consensus, that climate change is under way, and that if the Government and everyone else do not act, their children will suffer owing to catastrophic climate change. This is not an exaggeration; we have already had terrific floods in this country as a consequence of climate change. It is important to let people understand the truth, and it is the Government's responsibility to allow that to happen.

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