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 Deidre Brock Deidre Brock Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Devolved Government Relations), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Environment and Rural Affairs), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Wales) 7:53 pm, 23rd April 2019

May I thank the Minister for advance sight of her statement? I have to say, however, that this statement seems very empty. It appears to be a case of saying something because she has to say something, rather than because she has something to say. It is a reaction to the protests we have seen, rather than a real plan for the future or any indication that there is a real plan for the future.

Since there was no mention of it in her statement, may I ask the Minister: where is the Government’s response to the report of the green finance taskforce? We were promised it in the spring of this year, and surely there should have been at least some indication of that in this statement on the way forward. Where, too, is the response to the comments of the Governor of the Bank of England warning of the economic risks of the low-carbon transition? Will the Government commit to creating a green and resilient pipeline of low-carbon projects, and will she clarify that institutional investors will be made responsible for limiting climate-related financial risks to pensions, savings and investments?

In June last year, the Environmental Audit Committee warned of an “alarming collapse” in investment in renewable energy, and this morning the Minister told us that wave and tidal power had been outcompeted for support. What are the Government doing to address the low investment in renewables? Finally, the UK is set to miss its emissions reduction targets under the Climate Change Act for the fourth carbon budget by 3% to 12%, and for the fifth carbon budget by 6% to 20%. Will she commit the Government to implementing the recommendations of its own green finance taskforce in full, and will she give that commitment today?