Environment and Climate Change

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:24 pm on 1st May 2019.

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Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 2:24 pm, 1st May 2019

I completely understand where the hon. Lady is coming from, but one thing that we all must acknowledge is that, as we strive to meet more ambitious targets for emissions, hydrocarbons will be part of that mix. To be fair to the Leader of the Opposition, he has acknowledged that coal—high-quality coal—can be part of the mix when it comes to, for example, steel production. There is a legitimate argument across this House about the pace at which we should reduce our reliance on coal, and no Government have gone faster to reduce our reliance on coal, the single most polluting hydrocarbon than this Government. When it comes to other hydrocarbons in the mix, we know—[Interruption.] I am sorry, but we have been told that we should listen to the science. We know that gas is a less polluting hydrocarbon. If we can move from coal to gas, then, overall, we reduce the level of pollution. Ultimately, we want to move as fast as possible to incentivising and generating more of our energy from renewables, which is what we have done.