I have frequent such talks—bilaterally at European Councils and in other forums. Last year, for example, I invited other Ministers from member states that share the UK’s high ambitions to cut carbon emissions to join me in a new group called the green growth group. This has met three times, most recently in Luxembourg last month.
I thank the Secretary of State for his answer. Last week, however, the European Parliament voted to hold back carbon credits from the EU emissions trading scheme. Does the Secretary of State agree that the 20 Conservative MEPs who voted against the proposals were voting not only against action to tackle carbon emissions and prevent climate change, but against the interests of British business?
The hon. Lady will know that the Government, across the coalition, supported the backloading proposal that the European Parliament voted through. Obviously, I regret the fact that MEPs from Britain or any other member states did not vote for those proposals. But let us be clear: the backloading proposals are a first step in the reform of Europe’s carbon market. We need to go further so that we can get the carbon market and the carbon incentives that we need to see clean energy coming through.
Will the Secretary of State clarify something for me? In the spending review of 2010, the Government committed £1 billion to carbon capture and storage projects. Given that this money has not yet been spent and that the Chancellor did not even mention it in his recent spending review, is carbon capture and storage a casualty of that review?
No, it is not. The Chancellor did mention it in his spending review and in his Budget. That £1 billion remains there for carbon capture and storage.