Net Zero Carbon Emissions: Uk’S Progress

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:39 pm on 28th February 2019.

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Photo of Alan Whitehead Alan Whitehead Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Climate Change) 4:39 pm, 28th February 2019

Yes, the right hon. Gentleman is absolutely correct about that; using carbon cycles so that they are as long as possible and in the end the carbon is sequestered is a good way of ensuring that we make our economy as circular as possible, in addition to sequestering the carbon arising from it.

We have been given the Government’s clean growth plan. It was set out in response to the fifth carbon budget requirements, which, among other things, require us to get our carbon emissions down by 57% from 1990 levels by the end of the fifth carbon budget. I have to say to the House that the clean growth plan fails to do what it says it is going to do about the fifth carbon budget. Indeed, it suggests that we may be as high as 9.7% over the targets for the fifth carbon budget in terms of the things that the Government are setting out to do. So absolutely the first thing we need to do in considering our progress towards zero carbon is to make over, fundamentally, that clean growth plan so that it actually works. Not only must it achieve the terms of the fifth carbon budget, but it must go beyond that so that we are ready and setting ourselves up for the advice we are going to get from the Committee on Climate Change as to how we get to zero carbon. I invite the Government to start work today on getting that clean growth plan reorganised so that it can meet the terms of net zero when they come to us. Were the Government to embark on that strategy, they would have the full support of the Opposition in making that work and making sure that we are ready for net zero, and not running along behind, as we have for so many years in this House when the climate emergency started to come upon us.