Climate Change Policy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:53 pm on 23rd April 2019.

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Photo of Claire Perry Claire Perry The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth) 7:53 pm, 23rd April 2019

I see many colleagues standing, but I thank the shadow Minister for his commitment and his support for cross-party, and I want to answer some of his points.

The hon. Gentleman raised, rightly, the question of natural resources and the contribution they can make in carbon reduction. I am sure he will be pleased to know that, since 1990, emissions from that sector have halved. He is absolutely right that there is more to do, but they now account for only 15% of the total emissions pie. Indeed, there have been some amazing efficiency improvements, and I pay tribute to our farmers and to our innovative investors in this area. For example, it takes a third less CO2 to produce a kilo of pork now than it did in 1990. However, there is clearly more to do, and he clearly points out something with which he knows I agree, which is that we have to take a whole-economy approach to making these reductions.

I will say to the hon. Gentleman what I said earlier about declaring net zero. The only way to ensure that the actions we want to deliver actually can be delivered is to make sure, when we set them out, that they are fully understood, fully costed and fully planned, and that we have buy-in from local authorities, civil society and so on. I am really looking forward to seeing the CCC’s advice, but I will take the time that is required and work with whoever needs to be involved to ensure that, when we set that target, it can actually be delivered. I do not want to be the Minister who attempts to set out something very profound, only for it to be hived off because of other pressures that may occur down the line. If we make such a commitment, it must stick.